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Genetic risk factors influenced cocaine abuse and dependence more than cocaine use in women

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Question How much influence do genetic and environmental risk factors have on lifetime cocaine use, abuse, and dependence in women?


A population based, cohort study using data from a twin registry.


Virginia, USA.


1937 of 2288 eligible white women (mean age 37 y) were interviewed. Participants were members of female-female pairs listed in the Virginia Twin Registry. Data for 1934 women were included in the analysis; both twins were included for 485 monozygotic (MZ) pairs and 335 (DZ) dizygotic pairs.

Assessment of risk factors

Zygosity was determined blindly by standard questions, photographs, and DNA, when necessary. Telephone interviewers, who were blind to information about the co-twin, asked questions about childhood (how often the twins shared the same room at home, were in the same class at school, and were dressed alike), adolescence (how often they had the same friends, were in the same social group, and went out together to films and dances), and adulthood (how much contact they had had …

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