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Nicotine dependence in an isolated population of Kashubians from North Poland: a population survey


Research article

Alicja Sieminska*, Ewa Jassem and Karolina Kita-Milczarska

  • *
    Corresponding author: Alicja Sieminska asieminska@gumed.edu.pl

Author Affiliations

Department of Allergology and Pneumonology, Medical University of Gdansk, Debinki Str. 7, Gdansk, 80-211, Poland

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BMC Public Health 2015, 15:80 

Published: 4 February 2015

Abstract (provisional)

BackgroundTobacco use is a complex, multistage behaviour. The particular stages of
this behaviour, including nicotine dependence (ND), are influenced by both genetics
and the environment. Surveys on factors influencing tobacco use and ND, conducted
in ethnically homogenous populations, can provide results less influenced by genetic
and cultural heterogeneity. We aimed to assess ND in a sample of current smokers,
derived from the geographically and culturally isolated population of Kashubians from
North Poland, and evaluate its potential association with age, sex, and self-reported
comorbidities. In addition, we attempted to replicate – for the first time in this
population – previous findings on the association between ND and several variants
within the CHRNA5A3-A5-B4 nicotine receptor subunit gene cluster.MethodsThe study
sample consisted of 969 unrelated subjects who were all current smokers. ND was evaluated
using four measures: the Fagerstrom Test for Nicotine Dependence (FTND), the Heavy
Smoking Index (HSI), the number of cigarettes per day (CPD) and the time to first
cigarette after waking (TTF). All subjects underwent genotyping for CHRNA5 rs16969968,
CHRNA3 rs578776, and CHRNB4 rs12914008 variants. Multivariate regression analysis
was used for the assessment of the studied correlations. A significance level of 0.05
with the Bonferroni correction for multiple testing was set for a type 1 error in
the analyses.ResultsThe mean CPD, FTND and HSI scores in the study sample were 17.3???7.7,
3.9???2.3 and 2.6???1.5, respectively. No association between ND defined by FTND,
HSI or TTF and age was found. In turn, heavy smoking was significantly associated
with older age (odds ratio (OR)?=?1.72, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.14-2.59, p?=?0.009),
and men were more likely than women to be heavy smokers (OR?=?1.70, 95% CI: 1.09-2.65,
p?=?0.018). Chronic comorbidity did not significantly influence ND. An analysis of
association of studied polymorphisms with ND showed a borderline association of rs16969968
with CPD (OR?=?1.63, 95% CI: 1.09?2.45, p?=?0.017).ConclusionOur study showed a low
to moderate level of ND in the Kashubians, influenced by age, sex, as well as the
CHRNA5 rs16969968 variant.