Smoking may affect human genetic material for more than 30 years – DNA

According to new research in circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, an American Heart Association Journal, Smoking leaves its “footprint” on the human genome in the form of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)/genetic material methylation, a process by which cells control gene activity, The new findings suggest that DNA methylation could be an important sign that reveals an individual’s smoking history, and could provide researchers with potential targets for new therapies.
Prof. Stephanie J. London, last author and deputy chief of the Epidemiology Branch at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina has said that these results are important because methylation, as one of the mechanisms of the regulation of gene expression, affects what genes are turned on, which has implications for the development of smoking-related diseases, “Equally important is our finding that even after someone stops smoking, we still see the effects of smoking on their DNA.” Smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death worldwide, despite a decline in smoking in many countries as a result of smoking cessation campaigns and legislative action.

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