Type of Thesis
Molecular, Cellular, & Developmental Biology
Dr. Scott Vrieze
Dr. Brain DeDecker
Dr. Soo Rhee
Background and Aims
Although the genetic etiology of traditional cigarette smoking is well studied, the genetic etiology of e-cigarette smoking is not fully elucidated. This study utilizes polygenic risk scores to examine the potential genetic overlap of traditional and e-cigarette behaviors. Each score reflects the combined effect of selected risk alleles for smoking.
A polygenic risk score analysis was calculated using the Genes for Good (n=258) sample and regression weight from UK Biobank (n=19,357). Scores were generated at six p-value thresholds, with 5e-8 being the most stringent. Scores were then correlated to cigarettes per day (CPD) and frequency of e-cigarette use.
One correlation between CPD and risk scores at a p-value threshold of 5e-7 approached significance (p~0.05). No other correlations were significant.
This is the first study, to the knowledge of the investigators, that examines the genetic etiology of e-cigarettes. However, due to the limited sample size in this study, significant associations were not detected. As the Genes for Good study continues to grow, further investigation conducted with sufficient power would be necessary to better elucidate the genetic etiology of e-cigarette behaviors.
Ling, Yueh Yueh, "Polygenic Risk Score Analysis of E-Cigarette Smoking: Genetic Association of E-cigarette and Traditional Cigarette Behaviors" (2017). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1385.