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Alcohol. 1986 Jan-Feb;3(1):11-4.

Frequencies of glyoxalase I phenotypes as biological markers in chronic alcoholism.


Biological markers for alcoholism would be a valuable tool for early diagnosis. We have studied the phenotype frequencies of genetically determined erythrocyte enzymes in 397 alcoholics, including two populations with liver disease: steatosis (n = 86) and cirrhosis (n = 128) and a population of alcoholics without apparent liver disease (n = 183) compared to a well selected control population (n = 177). Only for Glyoxalase I (GLO) phenotypes (1,2 and 2-1) were significant differences found between the male controls and the male alcoholics. In the total male alcoholic population the frequency of phenotype 1 was significantly increased (23.2% vs. 11%, p less than 0.02), and the frequency of phenotype 2 was significantly decreased (32.3% vs. 46.3 p less than 0.02) compared to the male control population. For normal women the frequency of phenotype 1 and 2 was significantly different from normal men. (1: +177% p less than 0.001, 2: -45% p less than 0.01), but no significant differences were found between alcoholic and normal women. Our results suggest that in male subjects Glyoxalase I phenotype 1 may provide a marker for predisposition to alcoholism.

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