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Does the desire to consume alcohol and tobacco come from our genetic makeup?

Austin, TX Alcohol and smoking can be harmful, if not deadly. While the desire for these substances can be due to environmental cues, genomic factors also play an important role. The etiology of these desires is multifactorial and a result of complex interactions with the environment. Adoption and twin studies have shown that the use of these substances is likely to be inherited. Such studies have provided evidence that ones sex can influence the genetic factors for alcohol and tobacco use.

In an attempt to find the genomic determinants underlying alcohol and tobacco use, researchers examined 120 families (approximately 900 individuals). The researchers identified an area relating to alcohol and tobacco use on chromosome 1. They found another area relating to alcohol on chromosome 3. On chromosome 4, they uncovered an area relating to smoking and found sex-specific loci inside some of these areas.

The results are based on the study entitled, Genome-wide Scan for Genomic Determinants of Alcohol and Tobacco Use in French Canadian Families. It was conducted by Majid Nikpay, O. Seda, Johanne Tremblay and Pavel Hamet, of the Research Centre CHUM, University of Montreal; Ettore Merlo, cole Polytechnique de Montral, Montral; D. Gaudet, Department of Medicine, University of Montreal Community Genomic Medicine Center and Lipid Clinic, Chicoutimi, CN; and Theodore Kotchen and Alan Cowley, of the Department of Physiology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Mr. Nikpay will discuss his teams work at the conference, Sex and Gender in Cardiovascular-Renal Physiology and Pathophysiology. The meeting, sponsored by the American Physiological Society (APS; www.The-APS.org), is being held August 9-12, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency Austin on Town Lake, Austin, TX.

The Study

The researchers investigated the genomic factors underlying alcohol and tobacco use in a cohort of 120 families with at least one
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Contact: Donna Krupa
DKrupa@The-APS.org
301-624-7209
American Physiological Society
10-Aug-2007


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