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Known and novel sources of variability in the nicotine metabolite ratio in a large sample of treatment-seeking smokers.

Research paper by Meghan J MJ Chenoweth, Maria M Novalen, Larry W LW Hawk, Robert A RA Schnoll, Tony P TP George, Paul M PM Cinciripini, Caryn C Lerman, Rachel F RF Tyndale

Indexed on: 12 Jul '14Published on: 12 Jul '14Published in: Cancer epidemiology, biomarkers & prevention : a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research, cosponsored by the American Society of Preventive Oncology



Abstract

The ratio of 3'hydroxycotinine to cotinine, or nicotine metabolite ratio (NMR), is strongly associated with CYP2A6 genotype, CYP2A6-mediated nicotine and cotinine metabolism, and nicotine clearance. Higher NMR (faster nicotine clearance) is associated retrospectively with heavier smoking and lower cessation rates.NMR as a predictive biomarker of cessation outcomes is being investigated (NCT01314001). In addition to strong CYP2A6 genetic influences on NMR, demographic and hormonal factors alter NMR. Here, we analyzed, for the first time together, these sources of variation on NMR in smokers screened for this clinical trial (N = 1,672).Participants (mean age = 45.9) were 65.1% Caucasian, 34.9% African American, and 54.8% male. Mean NMR (SD) was higher in Caucasians versus African Americans [0.41 (0.20) vs. 0.33 (0.21); P < 0.001], and in females versus males [0.41 (0.22) vs. 0.37 (0.20); P < 0.001]. Among females, birth control pill use (N = 17) and hormone replacement therapy (N = 14) were associated with 19.5% (P = 0.09) and 29.3% (P = 0.06) higher mean NMR, respectively, albeit nonsignificantly. BMI was negatively associated with NMR (Rho = -0.14; P < 0.001), whereas alcohol use (Rho = 0.11; P < 0.001) and cigarette consumption (Rho = 0.12; P < 0.001) were positively associated with NMR. NMR was 16% lower in mentholated cigarette users (P < 0.001). When analyzed together in a linear regression model, these predictors (each ≤2%) accounted for <8% of total NMR variation.Although these factors significantly affected NMR, they contributed little (together <8%; each ≤2%) to total NMR variation.Thus, when using NMR, for example, to prospectively guide smoking cessation therapy, these sources of variation are unlikely to cause NMR misclassification.

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