CARTA Consortium


The consortium for Causal Analysis Research in Tobacco and Alcohol (CARTA) was established to investigate the causal effects of tobacco, alcohol and other lifestyle factors on health and sociodemographic outcomes using Mendelian randomisation methods.

In Mendelian randomisation studies, genetic variants which are associated with the exposure of interest are used as proxies for the measured exposures. The associations of these genetic variants with outcomes should be less subject to confounding than conventional observational associations and will not be affected by reverse causality.

The initial set of CARTA analyses are investigating the causal effects of smoking using a genetic variant  located in the CHRNA5-CHRNA3-CHRNB4 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor gene cluster (single nucleotide polymorphism numbers: rs1051730/rs16969968). This variant is robustly associated with smoking heaviness in smokers.

CARTA collaborators

Studies involved in CARTA have data on:

  • Genotype for rs1051730 or rs16969968
  • Smoking status
  • Outcome measures of interest

The following studies are members of the consortium:

1958 Birth Cohort (1958 BC), the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), the British Regional Heart Study (BRHS), the British Women’s Heart and Health Study (BWHHS), the Caerphilly Prospective Study (CaPS), the Christchurch Health and Development Study (CHDS), CoLaus/PsyCoLaus, the Exeter Family Study of Childhood Health (EFSOCH), the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), the National FINRISK Study (FINRISK), GEMINAKAR, Generation Scotland, Genomics of Overweight Young Adults (GOYA), the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS), Health2006, Health2008, the Nord-Trøndelag health study (HUNT), Inter99, Midspan, the Northern Finland Birth Cohorts (NFBC1966 and NFBC1986), the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the MRC National Survey of Health and Development (NSHD), the Netherlands Twin Registry (NTR), Patch 2, PROSPER, the Rotterdam Study, the Saguenay Youth Study (SYS)and Whitehall II.

Information on CARTA studies

For further information on CARTA, please contact Amy Taylor at

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