Alcohol dependence symptoms and alcohol dehydrogenase 2 polymorphism: Israeli Ashkenazis, Sephardics, and recent Russian immigrants

Journal Article

Background: Jews have lower rates of alcohol-related problems than other Caucasians. The ADH2*2 allele of the alcohol dehydrogenase 2 (ADH2) gene protects against alcoholism in Asians and is found in approximately 20% of Jews. We studied the relationship of ADH2*2 to DSM-IV dependence severity in a random community sample of Israeli Ashkenazis, recent Russian immigrants (also Ashkenazis), and Sephardics. Methods: Subjects participated in a structured interview that included highly reliable questions on DSM-IV alcohol dependence symptoms. ADH2 genotype was determined for 68 subjects. Results: Recent Russian immigrants had more past and lifetime DSM-IV dependence symptoms. Sephardics had a higher prevalence of ADH2*2 than Ashkenazis. Controlling for group and other potentially confounding factors, ADH2*2 was associated with a lower lifetime DSM-IV alcohol dependence severity, although this differed somewhat within groups. Conclusions: ADH2*2 protects against dependence severity in Jewish samples. Future work in larger samples should address genetic and environmental factors that affect the relationship of ADH2*2 to alcohol consumption and dependence.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Hasin, D; Aharonovich, E; Liu, X; Mamman, Z; Matseoane, K; Carr, LG; Li, TK

Published Date

  • 2002

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 9

Start / End Page

  • 1315 - 1321

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0145-6008

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/00000374-200209000-00002