Genome-wide association study of smoking trajectory and meta-analysis of smoking status in 842,000 individuals

Nat Commun. 2020 Oct 20;11(1):5302. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18489-3.


Here we report a large genome-wide association study (GWAS) for longitudinal smoking phenotypes in 286,118 individuals from the Million Veteran Program (MVP) where we identified 18 loci for smoking trajectory of current versus never in European Americans, one locus in African Americans, and one in Hispanic Americans. Functional annotations prioritized several dozen genes where significant loci co-localized with either expression quantitative trait loci or chromatin interactions. The smoking trajectories were genetically correlated with 209 complex traits, for 33 of which smoking was either a causal or a consequential factor. We also performed European-ancestry meta-analyses for smoking status in the MVP and GWAS & Sequencing Consortium of Alcohol and Nicotine use (GSCAN) (Ntotal = 842,717) and identified 99 loci for smoking initiation and 13 loci for smoking cessation. Overall, this large GWAS of longitudinal smoking phenotype in multiple populations, combined with a meta-GWAS for smoking status, adds new insights into the genetic vulnerability for smoking behavior.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American / genetics
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Genome-Wide Association Study*
  • Hispanic or Latino / genetics
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Quantitative Trait Loci
  • Smoking / genetics*
  • Smoking / psychology
  • White People / genetics