Washington: Genetics can help predict whether a person is likely to quit smoking on his or her own or need medication to improve the chances of success, according to new research.The finding may help health care providers to provide more individualized treatment plans to help patients quit smoking.The study was supported by multiple components of the National Institutes of Health, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Human Genome Research Institute, the National Cancer Institute, and the Clinical and Translational Science Awards program, administered by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences.“This study builds on our knowledge of genetic vulnerability to nicotine dependence, and will help us tailor smoking cessation strategies accordingly,” said NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D.“It also highlights the potential value of genetic screening in helping to identify individuals early on and reduce their risk for tobacco addiction and its related negative health consequences,” the researcher stated.Researchers focused on specific variations in a cluster of nicotinic receptor genes, CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4, which prior studies have shown contribute to nicotine dependence and heavy smoking.Using data obtained from a previous study supported by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, researchers showed that individuals carrying the high-risk form of this gene cluster reported a 2-year delay in the median quit age compared to those with the low-risk genes.
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