Ethnic-specific meta-analyses of association between the OPRM1 A118G polymorphism and alcohol dependence among Asians and Caucasians

Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Jun 1;123(1-3):1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2011.10.012. Epub 2011 Nov 8.


Background: Many studies have investigated the association between the OPRM1 A118G polymorphism (rs1799971) and alcohol dependence, but the results were inconsistent. To better understand this relationship, ethnicity-specific meta-analyses were conducted.

Methods: We retrieved all eligible studies published up to April 12, 2011 from the PubMed/MEDLINE, EMBASE, and ISI Web of Science databases. Ethnicity-specific meta-analyses were performed using either fixed- or random-effect models as appropriate.

Results: Twelve independent studies with 1900 cases and 2382 controls were included. Five studies were conducted in Asians and seven in Caucasians. Ethnicity-specific meta-analyses revealed that the A118G polymorphism was significantly associated with alcohol dependence risk in Asians (GA vs. AA: odds ratio [OR], 1.73; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.33-2.25; GA+GG vs. AA: OR, 1.57; 95% CI, 1.22-2.02), but not in Caucasians (GA vs. AA: OR, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.75-1.49; GA+GG vs. AA: OR, 1.11; 95% CI, 0.79-1.55).

Conclusions: The OPRM1 A118G polymorphism may contribute to the susceptibility of alcohol dependence in Asians but not in Caucasians.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholism / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholism / genetics*
  • Alleles
  • Asian People
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Ethnicity / genetics*
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Odds Ratio
  • Polymorphism, Genetic / genetics*
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu / genetics*
  • White People


  • OPRM1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Opioid, mu