Genes Affect Drinking Behavior Of Smokers

by Medindia Content Team on  December 22, 2005 at 6:50 PM General Health News
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Genes Affect Drinking Behavior Of Smokers
The drinking behavior of tobacco users is related to the same chromosome regions which are connected with addiction to alcohol, according to a study. The connection which exists between alcohol consumption and smoking may partially be because of the genetic risk factors which overlap. Environmental factors also contribute towards alcoholism. Drinking and smoking often go together. Dr. Kirk C. Wilhelmsen is the lead author of the study. As many as 158 families were studied by the research team which had at least two smokers. A questionnaire was made use of to seek out behavioral traits which were alcohol-related.

The genetic variations of each participant in the study were analyzed by DNA tests. The linkage analysis was applied for the research to locate chromosomes and DNA sequences which are inherited from parents. Human characteristics are also determined by these genes. The loci or chromosome regions which have been identified as having an influence on the consumption of alcohol were close to those which had already been identified by previous studies.

The alcohol-use phenotypes are affected by two loci on chromosome four and one locus on chromosome two, which precede alcoholism. As many as 200 genes are involved in chromosome four, some of which play a role in alcohol metabolism. It is as yet not known as to which genes play a deciding role in this behavioral pattern. Based on this, it is not possible to predict who will become an alcoholic and who will not. The object of the study is to identify the genes which really play a role in this behavior and to select the correct therapy.

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