“This study has revealed an important genetic independence of these two traits that we haven’t seen as clearly before. Focusing on variants only linked to AUD may help identify people at risk and find targets for the development of medications to treat it. The same applies to alcohol consumption, as those variants could inform interventions to help reduce consumption in heavy drinkers, who face their own set of adverse effects.”
~ Dr. Henry R. Kranzler, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
For years, scientists have known that Alcohol Use Disorder is a complicated genetic disorder. Although the precise mechanism is not yet understood, certain genes strongly influence drinking behaviors and in fact the likelihood of a person developing a dependence on or addiction to alcohol.
Now a huge new study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania has identified 18 significant genetic variants associated with heavy drinking, AUD, or both. Of special relevance, the study also found 188 different genetic links to a number of health outcomes. Previously, the World Health Organization made a connection between alcohol and over 200 diseases and chronic health problems.
In a similar manner, this new study found a genetic correlation between AUD and 111 adverse health conditions, including most psychiatric illnesses.
Perhaps the biggest strength of this new research is the sheer size of the study sample—the study examined data from over 274,000 subjects, making it the largest study of its kind.
What Does This Mean for YOU?
Even though opioids are constantly in the headlines, the numbers show that alcohol is actually the most dangerous drug in the world:
- 16 million people in this country meet the criteria for a medical diagnosis of AUD.
- Every year, approximately 88,000 Americans die because of alcohol.
- Alcohol abuse creates an economic impact of almost $300 billion a year.
What all this means is that it is entirely possible that you or someone you care about abuses or has been harmed by problematic drinking. And if this is the case, you my need specialized professional help.
In San Diego, you can find that help at Lasting Recovery. Whether you live in San Diego, Chula Vista, Oceanside, Escondido, or any other local community, Lasting Recovery is your top resource for evidence-based outpatient alcoholism treatment in the San Diego metro area.
To take the first step towards safe and successful sobriety, contact Lasting Recovery TODAY.
Lasting Recovery – “Where Wellness Begins…”