Mapping susceptibility loci for alcohol consumption using number of grams of alcohol consumed per day as a phenotype measure


There is substantial evidence for a significant genetic component to the risk for alcoholism. However, susceptibility loci or genes for alcohol dependence remain largely unknown. To identify susceptibility loci for alcohol dependence, we selected 329 extended families from the Framingham Heart Study population in which at least one family member reported alcohol consumption during the interview in 1970-1971, and performed genome-wide linkage analyses using various analytical methods. Multi-point sib-pair regression analysis using the SIBPAL program of S.A.G.E. provided strong evidence for linkage of alcohol dependence to chromosomes 9 (p-value < 0.0001) and weak evidence to chromosomes 15 and 16 (p-value < 0.005). To confirm these findings, we re-analyzed the same data set by various methods implemented in GENEHUNTER and found that only one region was significant with a LOD score > 2.0 by the variance-component method. This region is located on chromosome 9 between markers GATA21F05 and GATA81C04. Analyses of the Framingham Heart Study population provided evidence of genetic susceptibility loci for alcohol dependence on chromosomes 9, 15, and 16. The genomic region identified on chromosome 9 was particularly interesting because the region has also been previously reported to be linked to alcohol dependence in the American Indian population by another group.

Publication Title

BMC genetics