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Publication - Professor Marcus Munafo

    Evidence for Genetic Correlations and Bidirectional, Causal Effects Between Smoking and Sleep Behaviors

    Citation

    Gibson, M, Munafò, MR, Taylor, AE & Treur, JL, 2019, ‘Evidence for Genetic Correlations and Bidirectional, Causal Effects Between Smoking and Sleep Behaviors’. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, vol 21., pp. 731-738

    Abstract

    INTRODUCTION: Cigarette smokers are at increased risk of poor sleep behaviors. However, it is largely unknown whether these associations are due to shared (genetic) risk factors and/or causal effects (which may be bidirectional). METHODS: We obtained summary-level data of genome-wide association studies of smoking (smoking initiation [n = 74 035], cigarettes per day [n = 38 181], and smoking cessation [n = 41 278]) and sleep behaviors (sleep duration and chronotype, or "morningness" [n = 128 266] and insomnia [n = 113 006]). Using linkage disequilibrium (LD) score regression, we calculated genetic correlations between smoking and sleep behaviors. To investigate causal effects, we employed Mendelian randomization (MR), both with summary-level data and individual-level data (n = 333 581 UK Biobank participants). For MR with summary-level data, individual genetic variants were combined with inverse variance-weighted meta-analysis, weighted median regression, MR-Robust Adjusted Profile Score, and MR Egger methods. RESULTS: We found negative genetic correlations between smoking initiation and sleep duration (rg = -.14, 95% CI = -0.26 to -0.01) and smoking cessation and chronotype (rg = -.18, 95% CI = -0.31 to -0.06), and positive genetic correlations between smoking initiation and insomnia (rg = .27, 95% CI = 0.06 to 0.49) and cigarettes per day and insomnia (rg = .15, 95% CI = 0.01 to 0.28). MR provided strong evidence that smoking more cigarettes causally decreases the odds of being a morning person, (RAPS) and weak evidence that insomnia causally increases smoking heaviness and decreases smoking cessation odds. CONCLUSIONS: Smoking and sleep behaviors show moderate genetic correlation. Heavier smoking seems to causally affect circadian rhythm and there is some indication that insomnia increases smoking heaviness and hampers cessation. Our findings point to sleep as a potentially interesting smoking treatment target. IMPLICATIONS: Using LD score regression, we found evidence that smoking and different sleep behaviors (sleep duration, chronotype (morningness), and insomnia) are moderately genetically correlated-genetic variants associated with less or poorer sleep also increased the odds of smoking (more heavily). MR analyses suggested that heavier smoking causally affects circadian rhythm (decreasing the odds of being a morning person) and there was some indication that insomnia increases smoking heaviness and hampers smoking cessation. Our findings indicate a complex, bidirectional relationship between smoking and sleep behaviors and point to sleep as a potentially interesting smoking treatment target.

    Full details in the University publications repository