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Ther Umsch. 2000 Apr;57(4):179-84.

[Genetic predisposition for alcoholism].

[Article in German]

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Klinik für Anästhesiologie, Universitäts-Krankenhaus Eppendorf, Hamburg.


A number of socio-economic, cultural, biobehavioral factors and ethnic/gender differences are among the strongest determinants of drinking patterns in a society. Both epidemiological and clinical studies have implicated the excessive use of alcohol in the risk of developing a variety of organ, neuronal and metabolic disorders. Alcohol abuse related metabolic derangements affect almost all body organs and their functions. Race and gender differences in drinking patterns may play an important role in the development of medical conditions associated with alcohol abuse. The incidence of alcoholism in a community is influenced by per capita alcohol consumption and covariates with the relative price and availability of alcoholic drinks. The majority of the family, twin and adoption studies suggest that alcoholism is familial, a significant proportion of which can be attributed to genetic factors. The question is how much of the variance is explained by genetic factors and to what degree is this genetically mediated disorder moderated by personal characteristics. Among the most salient personal characteristics moderating, the genetic vulnerability may be factors such as age, ethnicity, and presence of psychiatric co morbidity. Cultural factors and familial environmental factors are most likely predictors as well.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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