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Open Access Research article

Salivary cotinine concentrations in daily smokers in Barcelona, Spain: a cross-sectional study

Marcela Fu12, Esteve Fernandez12*, Jose M Martínez-Sánchez12, José A Pascual34, Anna Schiaffino5, Antoni Agudo6, Carles Ariza78, Josep M Borràs9, Jonathan M Samet1011 and the DCOT Study investigators

Author Affiliations

1 Tobacco Control & Research Unit, Institut Català d'Oncologia (ICO-IDIBELL). Av. Gran Via de L'Hospitalet 199-203, 08907 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), Spain

2 Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Medicine, Campus de Bellvitge, Universitat de Barcelona. Pavelló de Govern, Feixa Llarga s/n, 08907 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), Spain

3 Bioanalysis Research Group, Neuropsychopharmacology Programme, IMIM-Hospital del Mar. Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, Doctor Aiguader 88, Barcelona, Spain

4 Department of Experimental and Health Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, Doctor Aiguader 88, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

5 Ajuntament de Terrassa. Crta. de Montcada 596, 08223 Terrassa, Spain

6 Nutrition, Environment & Cancer Unit, Institut Català d'Oncologia (ICO-IDIBELL). Av. Gran Via de L'Hospitalet 199-203, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), Spain

7 Evaluation & Intervention Methods Unit, Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona (ASPB). Pl. Lesseps 1, 08023 Barcelona, Spain

8 CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP). Parc de Recerca Biomèdica de Barcelona, Doctor Aiguader 88 1a Planta, 08003 Barcelona, Spain

9 Pla Director d'Oncologia. Av. Gran Via de L'Hospitalet 199-203, 08907 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona), Spain

10 Department of Preventive Medicine, USC Institute for Global Health, Keck School of Medicine USC, California, USA

11 Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. 1441 Eastlake Avenue, Room 4436, MS 44; Los Angeles CA 90033, USA

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BMC Public Health 2009, 9:320  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-9-320

Published: 3 September 2009

Abstract

Background

Characterizing and comparing the determinant of cotinine concentrations in different populations should facilitate a better understanding of smoking patterns and addiction. This study describes and characterizes determinants of salivary cotinine concentration in a sample of Spanish adult daily smoker men and women.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was carried out between March 2004 and December 2005 in a representative sample of 1245 people from the general population of Barcelona, Spain. A standard questionnaire was used to gather information on active tobacco smoking and passive exposure, and a saliva specimen was obtained to determine salivary cotinine concentration. Two hundred and eleven adult smokers (>16 years old) with complete data were included in the analysis. Determinants of cotinine concentrations were assessed using linear regression models.

Results

Salivary cotinine concentration was associated with the reported number of cigarettes smoked in the previous 24 hours (R2 = 0.339; p < 0.05). The inclusion of a quadratic component for number of cigarettes smoked in the regression analyses resulted in an improvement of the fit (R2 = 0.386; p < 0.05). Cotinine concentration differed significantly by sex, with men having higher levels.

Conclusion

This study shows that salivary cotinine concentration is significantly associated with the number of cigarettes smoked and sex, but not with other smoking-related variables.