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Addiction. 1995 Sep;90(9):1205-11.

Family history of alcoholism and psychiatric co-morbidity in Brazilian male alcoholics and controls.

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  • 1Department of Psychobiology, Escola Paulista de Medicina, São Paulo, Brazil.


The present study was aimed at replicating, in a sample of Brazilian subjects, findings generated mostly in developed countries on the relative prevalence of alcohol problems, associated psychiatric disorders, family history of alcoholism and other familial psychiatric disorders in alcoholics and controls. A group of Brazilian male alcoholics (n = 103) and controls (n = 63) at first admission to ambulatory or inpatient treatment were interviewed individually using sections of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R. Information on demographic characteristics, alcohol-related problems, psychiatric problems and family history of alcoholism and depression were collected from all subjects. Alcoholics had a higher prevalence of a family history of alcoholism, a family history of depression and of a personal history of other psychiatric disorders when compared to controls. Comparisons between FHP and FHN alcoholics, although preliminary, showed few significant differences between these subgroups. Comparisons between FHP and FHN control showed a non-significant trend towards a higher prevalence of psychiatric problems and towards antisocial behaviours among those with a positive family history of alcoholism. The findings point to the importance of cross-cultural studies on genetic and environmental factors related to alcohol dependence.

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