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Association of the serotonin transporter gene, neuroticism and smoking behaviours

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  • Colin O'Gara
  • Jo Knight
  • John Stapleton
  • Jason Luty
  • Ben Neale
  • Matt Nash
  • Patricia Heuzo-Diaz
  • Farzana Hoda
  • Sarah Cohen
  • Gay Sutherland
  • David Collier
  • Pak Sham
  • David Ball
  • Peter McGuffin
  • Ian Craig
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number3
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)239-246
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date10/01/08
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Cigarette consumption and smoking cessation are influenced in part by genes. Personality traits have also been implicated in the aetiology of smoking. Neuroticism, a personality trait with a heritable component, correlates well with anxiety and depression, increasing the risk of being a smoker and decreasing the chance of smoking cessation. Several prior studies in non-British populations have given conflicting results as to whether some genetic polymorphisms affect the relationship between smoking and neuroticism. This study investigated the influence of serotonin transporter (5HTTLPR) genotypes on a composite measure of neuroticism and cigarette consumption/smoking cessation in a British population. Although neuroticism was significantly associated with cigarette consumption and smoking cessation, genotype did not affect this relationship. Our results do not support initial interest in utilising 5HTTLPR genotypes in combination with neuroticism ratings for predicting outcome in smoking cessation clinical settings.