Effect of alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase gene polymorphisms on alcohol-associated hypertension: the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study

Hypertens Res. 2013 Aug;36(8):741-6. doi: 10.1038/hr.2013.23. Epub 2013 Apr 25.


The effects of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) 2 and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) 2 genotypes on the alcohol-blood pressure association are unclear. We examined the association of ADH2 or ALDH2 genotypes with blood pressure in older Chinese men. Based on the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study (GBCS), 4792 men with valid ADH2, ALDH2 genotypes were included, and genotyping of rs1229984 ADH2 and rs671 ALDH2 (AA, AG/GA or GG) was performed using a Sequenom Mass-Array platform. Information on socio-demographics and lifestyle factors, including alcohol use, was obtained from a questionnaire, and blood pressure was measured. Among alcohol drinkers, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were highest for men with the GG ADH2 genotype (136.6, 77.9 and 97.5 mm Hg, respectively), followed by those with the (AA/AG ADH2+GG ALDH2) genotype (133.4, 77.6 and 96.2 mm Hg, respectively) and then the (AA/AG ADH2+AA/AG ALDH2) genotype (SBP=132.6, DBP=76.6 and MAP=95.2 mm Hg) (P for trend ranged 0.025-0.035). After adjustment for potential confounders, as well as frequency or amount of alcohol use, men with the GG ADH2 genotype were more likely to have hypertension (odds ratio (OR)=1.62, 95% confidence interval 1.15-2.28) as were men with the (AA/AG ADH2+AA/AG ALDH2) genotype (OR=1.40, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.96) compared with men with the (AA/AG ADH2+GG ALDH2) genotype). ADH2 or ALDH2 genotypes were unrelated to hypertension among those who never drink alcohol. ADH2 genotype influences blood pressure and risk of hypertension among male alcohol drinkers, suggesting that the hypertensive effect of alcohol is due to ethanol rather than acetaldehyde.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Alcohol Drinking / genetics
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Asian People / genetics
  • Blood Pressure / genetics*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Risk Factors


  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase
  • Aldehyde Dehydrogenase