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The link between schizophrenia and cigarette smoking has been well established through observational studies. However, the cause–effect relationship remains unclear.
We conducted Mendelian randomisation analyses to assess any causal relationship between genetic variants related to four smoking-related traits and the risk of schizophrenia.
We performed a two-sample Mendelian randomisation using summary statistics from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of smoking-related traits and schizophrenia (7711 cases, 18 327 controls) in East Asian populations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) correlated with smoking behaviours (smoking initiation, smoking cessation, age at smoking initiation and quantity of smoking) were investigated in relation to schizophrenia using the inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method. Further sensitivity analyses, including Mendelian randomisation-Egger (MR-Egger), weighted median estimates and leave-one-out analysis, were used to test the consistency of the results.
The associated SNPs for the four smoking behaviours were not significantly associated with schizophrenia status. Pleiotropy did not inappropriately affect the results.
Cigarette smoking is a complex behaviour in people with schizophrenia. Understanding factors underlying the observed association remains important; however, our findings do not support a causal role of smoking in influencing risk of schizophrenia.
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