Genes Play Increasing Role in Tobacco Use Risk for Women
inheritance each play a key role in determining a person’s
vulnerability to regular tobacco use, a generation-spanning study of
twins has confirmed.
the genetic element of their vulnerability to smoking has increased as
society’s once-strong taboos against tobacco use by women have
diminished, the study revealed.
the patterns of tobacco use suggest genetic and environmental factors
account, respectively, for 61 percent and 20 percent of the differences
in individuals in their risk for becoming regular users of tobacco. In
women born before 1925, rates of tobacco use were low, based largely on
environmental factors. For women born since 1940, however, heritability
of tobacco use is essentially the same as in men — 63 percent.
The study was
conducted by Dr. Kenneth S. Kendler of the Medical College of Virginia
and researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden. The
results were published in the September issue of the Archives of
General Psychiatry. Copies of the article are available at the Web