Levels of 4-aminobiphenyl-hemoglobin adducts in smokers of blonde (flue-cured) and black (air-cured) tobacco have been found to be proportional to bladder cancer risk. In addition, risk of bladder cancer due to exposure to occupational carcinogens is elevated in genetically determined slow acetylators. In this study of normal male volunteers, 4-aminobiphenyl-hemoglobin adducts were found to be related to both the quantity and the type of tobacco smoked, as well as to the acetylator phenotype (independently of smoking habits). The demonstration that both the genetically determined slow acetylator phenotype and tobacco smoking are independently associated with levels of the carcinogen 4-aminobiphenyl in adducted hemoglobin suggests a single mechanism to explain the contribution of genetic susceptibility and environmental exposure in bladder carcinogenesis.

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The study design and organization were supported by the Associazione Italiana per le Ricerche sul Cancro, and by the Italian National Research Council. This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health Grant No. ES00597, awarded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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