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Protective variant associated with alcohol dependence in a Mexican American cohort.

  • Author(s): Norden-Krichmar, Trina M
  • Gizer, Ian R
  • Wilhelmsen, Kirk C
  • Schork, Nicholas J
  • Ehlers, Cindy L
  • et al.


Mexican Americans, particularly those born in the United States, are at greater risk for alcohol associated morbidity and mortality. The present study sought to investigate whether specific genetic variants may be associated with alcohol use disorder phenotypes in a select population of Mexican American young adults.


The study evaluated a cohort of 427 (age 18 - 30 years) Mexican American men (n = 171) and women (n = 256). Information on alcohol dependence was obtained through interview using the Semi-Structured Assessment for the Genetics of Alcoholism (SSAGA). For all subjects, DNA was extracted from blood samples, followed by genotyping using an Affymetrix Axiom Exome1A chip.


A protective variant (rs991316) located downstream from the ADH7 (alcohol dehydrogenase 7) gene showed suggestive significance in association with alcohol dependence symptom counts derived from DSM-III-R and DSM-IV criteria, as well as to clustered alcohol dependence symptoms. Additional linkage analysis suggested that nearby variants in linkage disequilibrium with rs991316 were not responsible for the observed association with the alcohol dependence phenotypes in this study.


ADH7 has been shown to have a protective role against alcohol dependence in previous studies involving other ethnicities, but has not been reported for Mexican Americans. These results suggest that variants near ADH7 may play a role in protection from alcohol dependence in this Mexican American cohort.

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