In a recent issue of Addiction, Sobczyk-Kopciol et al.  reported an association between the first intron tagging variant rs9939609 in the obesity-predisposing fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) gene (OMIM no. 610966) and both alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence. Interestingly, the genotype generally associated with elevated risk of obesity , acute coronary syndrome , some types of cancer , end-stage renal disease  or overall mortality [in all cases at least partially independently on body mass index (BMI)] was associated with lower ethanol consumption, and was less common in alcohol-dependent individuals compared to healthy controls.
Despite the large number of individuals included (6584), an important limitation of the original study  is the lack of the confirmatory study. Even large studies are prone to type I error (false positive), and their results need to be replicated [7,8].
To confirm the results by Sobczyk-Kopciol et al. , we analysed self-reported alcohol intake (recorded in a standardized interview) and the first intron tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs17817449 or rs9939609; both occur in almost 100% linkage disequilibrium ) in three large independent cohorts. We used the Czech post-MONItoring of trends and determinants in Cardiovascular disease (MONICA) study (2559 individuals, examined twice within 3 years) , the Czech part of the Health, Alcohol and Psychosocial factors In Eastern Europe (HAPIEE) study (6681 individuals) , and a study of the self-contained population of 948 Sorbs in Germany . Finally, 201 Czech patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis were also genotyped. Data were analysed using logistic regression with the additive mode of inheritance and adjustment for age and gender. > > > > Read More