Alcohol consumption indices of genetic risk for alcohol dependence

Julia D. Grant, Arpana Agrawal, Kathleen K. Bucholz, Pamela A.F. Madden, Michele L. Pergadia, Elliot C. Nelson, Michael T. Lynskey, Richard D. Todd, Alexandre A. Todorov, Narelle K. Hansell, John B. Whitfield, Nicholas G. Martin and Andrew C. Heath (2009) Alcohol consumption indices of genetic risk for alcohol dependence. Biological Psychiatry, 66 8: 795-800. doi:10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.05.018


Author Julia D. Grant
Arpana Agrawal
Kathleen K. Bucholz
Pamela A.F. Madden
Michele L. Pergadia
Elliot C. Nelson
Michael T. Lynskey
Richard D. Todd
Alexandre A. Todorov
Narelle K. Hansell
John B. Whitfield
Nicholas G. Martin
Andrew C. Heath
Title Alcohol consumption indices of genetic risk for alcohol dependence
Formatted title
Alcohol consumption indices of genetic risk for alcohol dependence
Journal name Biological Psychiatry   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0006-3223
Publication date 2009-10-15
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.05.018
Volume 66
Issue 8
Start page 795
End page 800
Total pages 6
Editor Dr. John H Krystal
Place of publication United States
Publisher Elsevier Inc.
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
Abstract Background Previous research has reported a significant genetic correlation between heaviness of alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence (AD), but this association might be driven by the influence of AD on consumption rather than the reverse. We test the genetic overlap between AD symptoms and a heaviness of consumption measure among individuals who do not have AD. A high genetic correlation between these measures would suggest that a continuous measure of consumption may have a useful role in the discovery of genes contributing to dependence risk. Methods Factor analysis of five alcohol use measures was used to create a measure of heaviness of alcohol consumption. Quantitative genetic analyses of interview data from the 1989 Australian Twin Panel (n = 6257 individuals; M = 29.9 years) assessed the genetic overlap between heaviness of consumption, DSM-IV AD symptoms, DSM-IV AD symptom clustering, and DSM-IV alcohol abuse. Results Genetic influences accounted for 30%–51% of the variance in the alcohol measures and genetic correlations were .90 or higher for all measures, with the correlation between consumption and dependence symptoms among nondependent individuals estimated at .97 (95% confidence interval: .80–1.00). Conclusions Heaviness of consumption and AD symptoms have a high degree of genetic overlap even among nondependent individuals in the general population, implying that genetic influences on dependence risk in the general population are acting to a considerable degree through heaviness of use and that quantitative measures of consumption will likely have a useful role in the identification of genes contributing to AD.
Formatted abstract
Background
Previous research has reported a significant genetic correlation between heaviness of alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence (AD), but this association might be driven by the influence of AD on consumption rather than the reverse. We test the genetic overlap between AD symptoms and a heaviness of consumption measure among individuals who do not have AD. A high genetic correlation between these measures would suggest that a continuous measure of consumption may have a useful role in the discovery of genes contributing to dependence risk.

Methods
Factor analysis of five alcohol use measures was used to create a measure of heaviness of alcohol consumption. Quantitative genetic analyses of interview data from the 1989 Australian Twin Panel (n = 6257 individuals; M = 29.9 years) assessed the genetic overlap between heaviness of consumption, DSM-IV AD symptoms, DSM-IV AD symptom clustering, and DSM-IV alcohol abuse.

Results
Genetic influences accounted for 30%–51% of the variance in the alcohol measures and genetic correlations were .90 or higher for all measures, with the correlation between consumption and dependence symptoms among nondependent individuals estimated at .97 (95% confidence interval: .80–1.00).

Conclusions
Heaviness of consumption and AD symptoms have a high degree of genetic overlap even among nondependent individuals in the general population, implying that genetic influences on dependence risk in the general population are acting to a considerable degree through heaviness of use and that quantitative measures of consumption will likely have a useful role in the identification of genes contributing to AD.

Keyword Alcohol dependence
gene identification
twins
genetic overlap
heritability
heaviness of consumption
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Medicine Publications
 
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Created: Fri, 26 Mar 2010, 17:36:31 EST by Amanda Jones on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital