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The Genetic Correlation Between Cigarette Smoking and Alcohol Drinking Among Chinese Adult Male Twins: An Ordinal Bivariate Genetic Analysis

  • Ting Zhang (a1), Wenjing Gao (a1), Weihua Cao (a1), Siyan Zhan (a1), Jun Lv (a1), Zengchang Pang (a2), Shaojie Wang (a2), Rongfu Chen (a3), Yonghua Hu (a1) and Liming Li (a1)...

Abstract

Background: Though multiple policies have been implemented, the cigarette control in China is still facing a great challenge. At the same time, alcohol drinking has increasingly become a public health problem. Considering cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking often co-occur, a few studies tested the covariance of these phenotypes. However, the genetic and environmental correlation between them among Chinese population has not been determined. The main aim of this study is to fill this gap. Methods: From the Chinese National Twin Registry, we obtained the data on cigarette smoking and alcohol drinking behaviors. The ordinal bivariate genetic analysis was performed to fit the categorical variables. After identifying the best decomposition among the Cholesky, common, and independent pathway model, we established the most parsimonious submodel. Results: The correlation between current tobacco and alcohol use could be explained by Cholesky model. The shared environmental variances for both phenotypes were dropped to construct the most parsimonious submodel. Furthermore, the most parsimonious submodel showed a moderate correlation (0.32, 95%CI = 0.17 – 0.46) between the genetic components and a negligible non-shared environmental correlation. Conclusion: As the first bivariate genetic analysis on current tobacco smoking and current alcohol drinking in China, this study suggested a common genetic vulnerability to tobacco and alcohol use in male twins. Further studies should be carried out to track the pertinent genes that are related to the comorbidity of smoking and drinking in Chinese population. Another urgent need is to recognize the behavior-specific environmental risk factors.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

address for correspondence: Liming Li, Department of Epidemiology & Biostatistics School of Public Health, Peking University Health Science Center, 38 Xueyuan Road, Haidian District, Beijing 100191, P.R. China. E-mail: lmlee@vip.163.com

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