Little Evidence of Modified Genetic Effect of rs16969968 on Heavy Smoking Based on Age of Onset of Smoking. Journal Article uri icon

Overview

abstract

  • INTRODUCTION: Tobacco smoking is the leading cause of preventable death globally. Smoking quantity, measured in cigarettes per day, is influenced both by the age of onset of regular smoking (AOS) and by genetic factors, including a strong effect of the nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphism rs16969968. A previous study by Hartz et al. reported an interaction between these two factors, whereby rs16969968 risk allele carriers who started smoking earlier showed increased risk for heavy smoking compared with those who started later. This finding has yet to be replicated in a large, independent sample. METHODS: We performed a preregistered, direct replication attempt of the rs16969968 × AOS interaction on smoking quantity in 128 383 unrelated individuals from the UK Biobank, meta-analyzed across ancestry groups. We fit statistical association models mirroring the original publication as well as formal interaction tests on multiple phenotypic and analytical scales. RESULTS: We replicated the main effects of rs16969968 and AOS on cigarettes per day but failed to replicate the interaction using previous methods. Nominal significance of the rs16969968 × AOS interaction term depended strongly on the scale of analysis and the particular phenotype, as did associations stratified by early/late AOS. No interaction tests passed genome-wide correction (α = 5e-8), and all estimated interaction effect sizes were much smaller in magnitude than previous estimates. CONCLUSIONS: We failed to replicate the strong rs16969968 × AOS interaction effect previously reported. If such gene-moderator interactions influence complex traits, they likely depend on scale of measurement, and current biobanks lack the power to detect significant genome-wide associations given the minute effect sizes expected. IMPLICATIONS: We failed to replicate the strong rs16969968 × AOS interaction effect on smoking quantity previously reported. If such gene-moderator interactions influence complex traits, current biobanks lack the power to detect significant genome-wide associations given the minute effect sizes expected. Furthermore, many potential interaction effects are likely to depend on the scale of measurement employed.

publication date

  • May 24, 2021

Date in CU Experts

  • November 13, 2020 12:22 PM

Full Author List

  • Adjangba C; Border R; Romero Villela PN; Ehringer MA; Evans LM

author count

  • 5

Other Profiles

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1469-994X

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 1055

end page

  • 1063

volume

  • 23

issue

  • 6