Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have identified four relatively simple measures of drinking behavior to assess genetic risk for alcohol dependence, making the process of risk identification both easier and faster.
Kenneth S. Kendler, M.D., director of the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, and a professor of human and molecular genetics in the VCU School of Medicine, and colleagues assessed the lifetime history of alcohol dependence in 5,073 same-sex adult twins from the Virginia Twin Registry against four measures of alcohol consumption at the time of heaviest drinking: drinking frequency, regular quantity, maximum quantity and drunk frequency. They used Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-Fourth Edition criteria.
They found the four measures of alcohol consumption were able to accurately assess genetic risk for alcohol dependence in all women who participated in the study; and a large proportion of men.
The study was published online in the Early View issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, and will appear in print in the June 2010 issue of the publication. Read the journal’s news release at http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-04/ace-smo032910.php.
- About VCU and the VCU Medical Center
- Virginia Commonwealth University is a major, urban public research university with national and international rankings in sponsored research. Located on two downtown campuses in Richmond, VCU enrolls more than 32,000 students in 211 certificate and degree programs in the arts, sciences and humanities. Sixty-nine of the programs are unique in Virginia, many of them crossing the disciplines of VCU’s 13 schools and one college. MCV Hospitals and the health sciences schools of Virginia Commonwealth University compose the VCU Medical Center, one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers. For more, see www.vcu.edu.
Sathya Achia Abraham
VCU Communications and Public Relations