Heavy drinking, alcoholism are ‘not the same thing’, genetic study shows

4-15-2019 x
Image: AAP

A huge analysis of drinking patterns among veterans has found genetic distinctions between heavy drinkers and alcoholics, according to a study published [recently] in the journal Nature Communications.

The research team, co-led by the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University, found that the two groups shared some genetic variants but not others. This has implications for the development of medications to treat harmful drinking and for identifying who is most at risk.

The study analyzed data from 275,000 people in the Million Veteran Program.

The researchers looked for genes associated with the level of drinking and with alcohol use disorder (AUD), an uncontrolled form of drinking, often called alcoholism, that affects about 15 million Americans. Alcoholics who are not in recovery are heavy drinkers, but not all heavy drinkers are alcoholics.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Genetic research can't fulfill its potential without greater diversity in study populations

The results are “evidence of something I think many people have thought or wondered about, that is, is heavy drinking the same thing as alcohol use disorder, and what we found is that it both is and it isn’t,” said Henry Kranzler, a psychiatrist who is director of Penn’s Center for Studies of Addiction. “It’s overlapping, but it’s not the same thing.”

Read full, original post: Penn study finds genetic differences between heavy drinkers and alcoholics

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend