FIRST REACTIONS TO CIGARETTES AND PROBLEMS WITH ALCOHOL IN FEMALE ADOLESCENT TWINS
Pamela A.F. Madden, Christina N. Lessov, Michele L. Pergadia and Andrew C. Heath.
Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO.
Previous work has shown a genetic association between alcohol dependence and different aspects of cigarette smoking, including nicotine dependence. Retrospective ratings of dizziness after first cigarettes have been found to correlate with regular smoking and progression to dependence on nicotine, and to have moderately high heritability in twin data (about 55%). Here we examined the question of whether recalled dizziness after first cigarettes is associated with a lifetime history of DSM-IV dependence on nicotine and alcohol problems (2 or more DSM-IV symptoms of alcohol dependence) in telephone interview data obtained from over 3,300 female twins, 13-20 years of age, recruited using state records. Controlling for age and a history of weekly cigarette use, there remained a significant association between the experience of dizziness with first cigarettes and alcohol problems (Odds-Ratio, 95% CI: 1.49, 1.11-2.00). Dizziness with first cigarettes in girls was significantly associated with alcohol problems in their co-twin (4.04, 2.70-6.07), even controlling for weekly smoking or nicotine dependence. However, we found no significant change in the association between nicotine dependence in girls and alcohol problems in their co-twin adjusting for dizziness with first cigarettes (2.60-6.55 vs. 4.69, 1.91-4.85). Our results suggest that recalled dizziness with first cigarettes is a heritable trait associated with increased risk for problems with both nicotine and alcohol. However, mechanisms underlying recalled dizziness with cigarettes cannot account for the familial association observed between nicotine dependence and alcohol problems in these adolescent girls