Study to assess the genetic basis of smoking and nicotine addiction among Native Americans and Alaska Natives – School of Public Health
Native Americans / Alaska Natives (AI / AN) have the highest prevalence of cigarette and other smoking in the United States. In Minnesota, 59% of CEW / AN smoke compared to 16% of the general population.
“Although 70% of smokers want to quit, most attempts to quit fail and people with AI / AN are less likely than other races to beat smoking,” says the assistant professor of the School of Public Health. . Dana carroll. “We must better support them by quitting smoking.
One way to help people quit smoking is by using medication. But which ones work the best? Previous research in white populations suggests that the rate at which nicotine is metabolized in an individual smoker can predict which cessation medication will work best for that person.
Carroll wonders if the same dynamic exists in people AI / AN. To find out more, Carroll is starting a study to determine how quickly they metabolize nicotine and how this relates to their genetic makeup. Study data will come from saliva, urine and other biological samples provided by tribes of Minnesota and surrounding states.
“The participating tribes are interested in reducing tobacco use and lung cancer among their members and have asked to participate in research that helps identify better solutions to help smokers quit,” says Carroll. “Relations with the tribes have been developed through a community-based participatory research approach where the tribe is an equal partner in all aspects of the research process, including the dissemination of results. “
The specific objectives of the study include:
- To examine data on genes related to nicotine metabolism and how these genes are expressed, which is related to biomarkers of nicotine dose and intensity of smoking, and nicotine dependence in smokers of AI.
- Explore the social and cultural determinants of smoking behavior.
- Use focus groups to assess perceptions and barriers to participation in genetic studies and genetically informed approaches to cessation treatment – and ways to overcome these issues – among AI smokers and their HIV care providers. health.
Carroll intends to publish the study results in scientific journals and share them with the AI / AN communities who participated in the study.
The results of the study will be used to guide future research to determine the safest and most effective ways to help people with CEW / AN quit smoking using medication. The results will also be used to develop culturally appropriate tips to help people trying to quit smoking.
The study is funded by a grant of nearly $ 700,000 from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health. The grant supports the study as well as additional training for Carroll to continue future related research.