Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A person's high or low response to alcohol says much about their risk for alcoholism

26.05.2009
Someone who has a low level of response (LR) to alcohol, meaning relatively little reaction to alcohol, has a higher risk for developing alcohol-use disorders (AUDs).

A study that examined the influence of LR in conjunction with other characteristics – like family history of AUDs and age of drinking onset – has found that LR is a unique risk factor for AUDs across adulthood and is not simply a reflection of a broader range of risk factors.

Results will be published in the September issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and are currently available at Early View.

"If a person needs more alcohol to get a certain effect, that person tends to drink more each time they imbibe," explained Marc A. Schuckit, director of the Alcohol Research Center, Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and corresponding author for the study.

"Other studies we have published have shown that these individuals also choose heavy drinking peers, which helps them believe that what they drink and what they expect to happen in a drinking evening are 'normal,'" he said. "This low LR, which is perhaps a low sensitivity to alcohol, is genetically influenced."

Schuckit and his colleagues examined 297 men participating in the San Diego Prospective Study, originally recruited and tested on their level of reaction to alcohol when they were 18 to 25 years old. Each reported on family history of AUDs, typical drinking quantity, age of drinking onset, body mass index, and initial age at recruitment for the study. AUDs were evaluated at 10-, 15-, 20-, and 25-year follow-ups.

Results showed that a low LR to alcohol predicted AUD occurrence over the course of adulthood even after controlling for the effects of other robust risk factors. In short, LR is a unique risk factor for AUDs across adulthood, and not simply a reflection of a broader range of risk factors.

"A low LR at age 20 was not just a reflection of being a heavier drinker at age 20 when we tested these men, and it wasn't an artifact of an earlier onset of drinking," said Schuckit. "We showed that a low LR at 20 predicts later heavy drinking and alcoholism even if you control for all these other predictors of alcohol problems at age 20."

Schuckit added that the study's method of examination – establishing multiple predictors at age 20, revisiting participants about every five years, and securing a response rate of about 94 percent – strongly show that LR is consistent and powerful in predicting alcoholism."

"Because alcoholism is genetically influenced, and because a low LR is one of the factors that adds to the risk of developing alcoholism," said Schuckit, "if you're an alcoholic, you need to tell your kids they are at a four-fold increased risk for alcoholism. If your kid does drink, find out if they can 'drink others under the table,' and warn them that that is a major indication they have the risk themselves. Keep in mind, however, that the absence of a low LR doesn't guarantee they won't develop alcoholism, as there are other risk factors as well."

It's not all bad news, Schuckit added. "We are looking for ways to identify this risk early in life, and to find ways to decrease the risk even if you carry a low LR … so there is hope for the future."

Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research (ACER) is the official journal of the Research Society on Alcoholism and the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism. Co-authors of the ACER paper, "The Relationships of the Level of Response to Alcohol and Additional Characteristics to Alcohol Use Disorders across Adulthood: A Discrete-Time Survival Analysis," were Ryan S. Trim and Tom L. Smith of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System. The study was funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the Veterans Affairs Research Service, and the State of California.

Marc A. Schuckit | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ucsd.edu
http://www.ATTCnetwork.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht WAKE-UP provides new treatment option for stroke patients | International study led by UKE
17.05.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

nachricht First form of therapy for childhood dementia CLN2 developed
25.04.2018 | Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>