Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Genes: An Extra Hurdle To Quitting Smoking During Pregnancy?

Date:
May 20, 2009
Source:
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
Summary:
Researchers using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and the Exeter Family Study of Childhood Health, have identified a common genetic variant that explains why some women may find it more difficult to quit smoking during pregnancy.

Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Bristol, using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and the Exeter Family Study of Childhood Health, have identified a common genetic variant that explains why some women may find it more difficult to quit smoking during pregnancy.

Maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with low birth weight and problems at birth. Statistically, women are more likely to quit smoking during pregnancy that at any other time in the lives, but some pregnant women continue to smoke despite a strong and direct public health message.

The study tested whether a genetic variant that is related to greater cigarette consumption was also responsible for a reduced likelihood of quitting smoking during pregnancy.

The research team studied 7,845 women of European descent from the South West of England. Using 2,474 women who smoked regularly immediately before they became pregnant, the association between the variant and smoking cessation and smoking quantity during pregnancy was analysed.

When asked about smoking in the first trimester of pregnancy, 28% of the women said they had given up. However, this figure was only 21% in the group of women with two copies of the smoking addiction gene, whereas in women with two copies of the non-addictive gene, 31% said they had quit.

Asked again in the third trimester, 47% of women with two copies of the non-addictive gene said they had stopped smoking, compared with only 34% of women with two copies of the smoking addiction gene.

Dr. Rachel Freathy from the Peninsula Medical School commented: "Pregnant women are under considerable health and social pressure to stop smoking, and quitting in such circumstances is influenced by a number of factors including the age of the expectant mother, their education and whether or not their partners smoke. However, we were keen to investigate whether the genetic variant that influences increased cigarette consumption also had a role to play as an extra hurdle to quitting smoking during pregnancy, and our study suggests that it does."

Dr. Freathy added: "However, we would not wish our findings to be used as an excuse to avoid giving up smoking during pregnancy. It is clear from our study that a considerable proportion of women did manage to quit smoking, despite inheriting two addiction copies of the gene. We stress the importance for all expectant mothers who smoke to make use of the resources available from their GP surgeries, local PCTs and pharmacists in their bid to quit smoking, for the benefit of their health and the health of their unborn children."

Professor Tim Frayling, a senior author on the paper, added "There are parallels between our results and those of genetic studies which have implicated appetite-regulatory pathways in obesity. Both quitting smoking and obesity are thought by many scientists, health care professionals and policy makers to be a matter of "self-control" and have much social stigma attached. The identification of common genetic variants may help a little to emphasize that physiology plays an important role in 'socially unacceptable' phenotypes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Freathy et al. A common genetic variant in the 15q24 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene cluster (CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4) is associated with a reduced ability of women to quit smoking in pregnancy. Human Molecular Genetics, 2009; DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddp216

Cite This Page:

The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. "Genes: An Extra Hurdle To Quitting Smoking During Pregnancy?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514221927.htm>.
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. (2009, May 20). Genes: An Extra Hurdle To Quitting Smoking During Pregnancy?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514221927.htm
The Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry. "Genes: An Extra Hurdle To Quitting Smoking During Pregnancy?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090514221927.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins