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Epigenetic Analyses of Alcohol Consumption in Combustible and Non-Combustible Nicotine Product Users

1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
2
Behavioral Diagnostics LLC, Coralville, IA 52241, USA
3
College of Public Health, Des Moines University, Des Moines, IA 50312, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yuen Yee Cheng
Received: 27 July 2021 / Revised: 18 August 2021 / Accepted: 30 August 2021 / Published: 1 September 2021
Alcohol and tobacco use are highly comorbid and exacerbate the associated morbidity and mortality of either substance alone. However, the relationship of alcohol consumption to the various forms of nicotine-containing products is not well understood. To improve this understanding, we examined the relationship of alcohol consumption to nicotine product use using self-report, cotinine, and two epigenetic biomarkers specific for smoking (cg05575921) and drinking (Alcohol T Scores (ATS)) in n = 424 subjects. Cigarette users had significantly higher ATS values than the other groups (p < 2.2 × 10−16). Using the objective biomarkers, the intensity of nicotine and alcohol consumption was correlated in both the cigarette and smokeless users (R = −0.66, p = 3.1 × 10−14; R2 = 0.61, p = 1.97 × 10−4). Building upon this idea, we used the objective nicotine biomarkers and age to build and test a Balanced Random Forest classification model for heavy alcohol consumption (ATS > 2.35). The model performed well with an AUC of 0.962, 89.3% sensitivity, and 85% specificity. We conclude that those who use non-combustible nicotine products drink significantly less than smokers, and cigarette and smokeless users drink more with heavier nicotine use. These findings further highlight the lack of informativeness of self-reported alcohol consumption and suggest given the public and private health burden of alcoholism, further research into whether using non-combustible nicotine products as a mode of treatment for dual users should be considered. View Full-Text
Keywords: epigenetics; DNA methylation; alcohol use disorder; nicotine; smoking epigenetics; DNA methylation; alcohol use disorder; nicotine; smoking
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dawes, K.; Sampson, L.; Reimer, R.; Miller, S.; Philibert, R.; Andersen, A. Epigenetic Analyses of Alcohol Consumption in Combustible and Non-Combustible Nicotine Product Users. Epigenomes 2021, 5, 18. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epigenomes5030018

AMA Style

Dawes K, Sampson L, Reimer R, Miller S, Philibert R, Andersen A. Epigenetic Analyses of Alcohol Consumption in Combustible and Non-Combustible Nicotine Product Users. Epigenomes. 2021; 5(3):18. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epigenomes5030018

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dawes, Kelsey, Luke Sampson, Rachel Reimer, Shelly Miller, Robert Philibert, and Allan Andersen. 2021. "Epigenetic Analyses of Alcohol Consumption in Combustible and Non-Combustible Nicotine Product Users" Epigenomes 5, no. 3: 18. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/epigenomes5030018

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