DOI: 10.1101/19009365Nov 2, 2019Paper

Does Smoking Cause Lower Educational Attainment and General Cognitive Ability? Triangulation of causal evidence using multiple study designs

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
Suzanne H GageMarcus R Munafo


Objectives: Observational epidemiological studies have found associations between smoking and both poorer cognitive ability and lower educational attainment; however, evaluating causality is more challenging. We used two complementary methods to attempt to ascertain whether smoking causes poorer cognitive ability and lower educational attainment. Design: A cohort study (Study One) and a two-sample Mendelian randomization study using publicly-available summary statistics (Study Two). Setting: The Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC), a birth-cohort study based in Bristol, United Kingdom, and general population samples from published genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Participants: Up to 12,004 young people in ALSPAC (complete case analysis N = 2,107) (Study One and Study Two), and summary statistics from three previously published GWAS (not individual-level data) (Study Two). Main outcome measures: Cognitive ability at age 15 (assessed via the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence) and educational attainment at age 16 (assessed via school records) (Study One), and educational attainment (measured as years in education) and fluid intelligence from previously published GWAS (Study Two). Results: In St...Continue Reading

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