Aim: This study tests whether polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for nicotine metabolism predict smoking behaviors in independent data. Materials & methods: Linear regression, logistic regression and survival analyses were used to analyze nicotine metabolism PRSs and nicotine metabolism, smoking quantity and smoking cessation. Results: Nicotine metabolism PRSs based on two genome wide association studies (GWAS) meta-analyses significantly predicted nicotine metabolism biomarkers (R2 range: 9.2-16%; minimum p = 7.6 × 10-8). The GWAS top hit variant rs56113850 significantly predicted nicotine metabolism biomarkers (R2 range: 14-17%; minimum p = 4.4 × 10-8). There was insufficient evidence for these PRSs predicting smoking quantity and smoking cessation. Conclusion: Results suggest that nicotine metabolism PRSs based on GWAS meta-analyses predict an individual's nicotine metabolism, so does use of the top hit variant. We anticipate that PRSs will enter clinical medicine, but additional research is needed to develop a more comprehensive genetic score to predict smoking behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1383-1394
Number of pages12
Issue number18
StatePublished - Dec 2018


  • CYP2A6
  • nicotine metabolism
  • polygenic risk scores
  • smoking cessation


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