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Eur Addict Res. 2011;17(3):146-53. doi: 10.1159/000324849. Epub 2011 Mar 29.

Association of inflammation genes with alcohol dependence/abuse: a systematic review and a meta-analysis.

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  • 1INSERM, Laboratory of Pathophysiology of Psychiatric Diseases, Centre of Psychiatry and Neurosciences, U894, Paris, France.


The aim of the present work was to systematically review all association studies of inflammation genes with alcohol dependence/alcohol abuse (AD/AA) and to perform a meta-analysis. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated by contrasting the ratio of counts of the 'high-risk' versus 'low-risk' alleles in AD/AA cases versus controls. Data reported in at least three published studies were available for four genetic polymorphisms [TNF-α-238 (rs361525, G/A); TNF-α-308 (rs1800629, G/A); IL-1RA (VNTR [86 bp]n); IL-10-592 (rs1800896, C/A)]. In total, nine meta-analyses were performed. Of these, only the TNF-α-238 polymorphism showed a significant association with AD/AA (OR=1.36, 95% CI: 1.05-1.76). This risk remained significant and increased slightly when we considered only patients with advanced alcohol-related liver disease (AALD) (OR=1.5, 95% CI: 1.13-1.98) but not when we considered only patients without AALD (OR=1.08, 95% CI: 0.5-2.35). Sensitivity analysis showed that this genetic association is derived from the AALD phenotype rather than from AD. Our approach is limited by our phenotype definition; some studies included chronic heavy drinkers (minimal daily consumption of 80 g for a minimal duration of 10 years) but without a standardized psychiatric assessment.

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