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Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998 Oct;22(7):1409-13.

Development of a questionnaire method to discriminate between typical and atypical genotypes of low Km aldehyde dehydrogenase in a Japanese population.

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Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Osaka University School of Medicine, Japan.


Nearly half of all Orientals exhibit aversive symptoms, such as "Oriental flushing" or palpitation, during alcohol consumption. This high alcohol sensitivity among Orientals has been attributed to a highly prevalent polymorphism in low Km aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2). In the present study, we attempted to develop a reliable questionnaire method to probe the frequency of alcohol drinking-related symptoms to estimate the ALDH2 genotype. Four-hundred twenty-four male and 100 female workers provided blood samples for polymerase chain reaction analysis and completed the questionnaire. We performed a stepwise logistic regression analysis to discriminate between the typical homozygote (ALDH2*1/*1) and the atypical heterozygote (ALDH2*1/*2) in male subjects. Because of the limitation in the sample size for ALDH2*2/*2, this genotype was not included in the analysis. Results revealed that only three symptoms (facial flushing, flushing elsewhere, and palpitation) were enough to correctly predict the ALDH2 genotypes in approximately 89% of all subjects. The present questionnaire method (ALcohol Sensitivity screening Test; ALST) takes a little time and effort for the genotype determination, and may be especially useful in epidemiological studies with a large sample size or with subjects from whom DNA samples are not available.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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