Associations of CYP2A6 genotype with smoking behaviors in southern China

Tao Liu, Sean P. David, Rachel F. Tyndale, Hui Wang, Qian Zhou, Peng Ding, Yan Hui He, Xue Qing Yu, Wei Chen, Casey Crump, Xiao Zhong Wen, Wei Qing Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Aims To investigate the association of CYP2A6 genetic polymorphisms with smoking-related phenotypes in Chinese smokers. Design Case-only genetic association study. Setting Southern China. Participants A total of 1328 Han Chinese smokers who participated in a community-based chronic disease screening project in Guangzhou and Zhuhai from 2006 to 2007. Measurements All participants answered a structured questionnaire about socio-demographic status and smoking behaviors and informative alleles were genotyped for the cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) gene (CYP2A6*4,*5,*7,*9 and *10). Findings The frequencies of CYP2A6*4, *5, *7, *9 and *10 alleles were 8.5, 1.2, 6.3, 13.5 and 2.4%, which corresponded to 48.9, 15.4, 24.2 and 11.5% of participants being classified as normal, intermediate, slow and poor metabolizers, respectively. Multivariate analyses in male smokers demonstrated that compared with normal metabolizers, poor metabolizers reported smoking fewer cigarettes per day [adjusted odds ratio (OR)=0.49; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.32-0.76], started smoking regularly later in life (adjusted OR=1.55; 95% CI: 1.06-2.26) and, among former smokers, reported smoking for a shorter duration prior to quitting (adjusted OR=0.33; 95% CI: 0.12-0.94). However, poor metabolizers were less likely to quit smoking and remain abstinent than normal metabolizers (adjusted OR=0.54; 95% CI: 0.34-0.86). Conclusions Reduced metabolism function of cytochrome P450 2A6 in smokers appears to be associated with fewer cigarettes smoked, later initiation of smoking regularly, shorter smoking duration and lower likelihood of smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)985-994
Number of pages10
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • CYP2A6
  • Chinese smokers
  • Genetic polymorphisms
  • Nicotine dependence
  • Smoking cessation
  • Smoking duration
  • Smoking initiation
  • Smoking quantity


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