ADH genotypes and alcohol use and dependence in Europeans

Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 1998 Oct;22(7):1463-9.


We have tested for effects of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) genotypes on self-reported alcohol consumption and symptoms of alcohol dependence, recorded on three occasions up to 15 years apart, in 377 male and female subjects of European descent. ADH2 genotype had significant effects on both consumption and dependence in the men, but not in the women. The effects of ADH3 genotype were considerably less than those of ADH2, but significant results could be demonstrated when the combined genotypes were considered. The direction of the effects on alcohol consumption and dependence risk were consistent with reports on Asian subjects, and with the in vitro properties of ADH isoenzymes. As with previous studies on the relationship between ADH type and alcohol use, population stratification cannot be excluded as a contributing factor in these results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Twin Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase / genetics*
  • Alcoholism / genetics*
  • Australia
  • Ethnicity / genetics
  • Europe / ethnology
  • Female
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genotype*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk
  • Whites / genetics*


  • Isoenzymes
  • Alcohol Dehydrogenase