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J Abnorm Psychol. 2001 Feb;110(1):173-8.

A genetic association with the development of alcohol and other substance use behavior in Asian Americans.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, and Psychology Service, Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, USA.


Studies of Asian adults have found that alcohol use and alcohol dependence are related to variation in the aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) gene. To investigate the association of ALDH2 with the development of drug involvement, the authors analyzed retrospective information about the onset and regular use of alcohol and other substances as reported by 180 Asian American college students. Possession of an ALDH2*2 allele was not related to initiation of alcohol use or having ever been intoxicated, but individuals with ALDH2*2 alleles were less likely to be regular drinkers, were less likely to have engaged in a binge-drinking episode, reported a lower number of maximum drinks consumed in a 24-hr period, and were less likely to have used tobacco regularly than those without this genetic variant. These findings suggest that ALDH2 is associated with the development of not only alcohol-related behavior but other substance use behavior as well.

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