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Int J Circumpolar Health. 1998;57 Suppl 1:454-8.

Flushing response and its role in alcohol disease in Siberian populations.

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Institute of Internal Medicine, Novosibirsk, Russia.


The characteristics of alcohol-induced flushing response were studied in some Siberian Native populations (Chukchi, Eskimo, Jakuts, Udege, and Nanaian). Flushing peculiarities were estimated and the interrelationship with drinking patterns, the ethanol patch test (EPT), and somatic disorders were analyzed. Frequency of flushing response varied from 9.0% to 66.7%, and was more often apparent among females. Only the Nanaian demonstrated typical flushing, which did not allow them to consume high doses of alcohol. In the rest of the populations flushing was "atypical," i.e., appearing sometimes after high doses of alcohol but not interrupting alcohol drinking, and not associated with a positive EPT. Direct genotyping in DNA samples of Chukotka Natives did not reveal atypical allele aldehyde dehydrogenase (AIDH 2/2). Frequencies of alcohol problems, alcohol dependence symptoms, and somatic disorders (arterial hypertension, silent ischemia, diffuse liver lesions, and noncalculous cholecystitis) were higher among atypical flushers compared to nonflushers (p < 0.05-0.01). The mechanism of the observed atypical flushing response is unknown. We speculate on its hereditary nature, since flushing alcoholics, compared to nonflushers, reported that their parents had flushing responses significantly more often. Further studies are required.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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