Heritability of Usual Alcohol Intoxication and Hangover in Male Twins: The NAS-NRC Twin Registry

Sheng Hui Wu, Qin Guo, Richard J. Viken, Terry Reed, Jun Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alcohol consumption is influenced by heritable factors. The genetic influence on usual high-density drinking, including alcohol intoxication and hangover, is unknown. We aim to estimate the heritability of usual high-density drinking. Methods: A total of 13,511 male twins in this cross-sectional study were included from the National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council (NAS-NRC) Twin Registry. Data on the frequency of alcohol intoxication and alcohol hangover over the past year, that is, usual high-density drinking (phenotypes), were collected through a self-administered questionnaire when twins were middle-aged in 1972. Structural equation modeling was used to estimate the variance components of phenotypes. Results: The mean of the frequency of usual high-density drinking in the entire twin population was 0.16 times per month for intoxication and 0.18 times per month for hangover. The heritability of usual alcohol intoxication was 50.7% (95% confidence interval [CI] 46.2 to 55.0) before and 49.9% (95% CI 45.3 to 54.2) after the body mass index (BMI) adjustment. The heritability of usual hangover was 55.4% (95% CI 51.2 to 58.6) before and 54.8% (95% CI 50.6 to 58.8) after adjustment for BMI. Unshared environmental factors between co-twins explained the remaining variance in alcohol intoxication and in hangover. Conclusions: Both genetic and unshared environmental factors have important influences on usual alcohol intoxication and hangover. These findings are important in understanding the occurrence of and developing interventions for usual high-density drinking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2307-2313
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume38
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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Keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Hangover
  • Heritability
  • Intoxication
  • Twin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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