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.
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