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 Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>