To support the free and open dissemination of research findings and information on alcoholism and alcohol-related problems. To encourage open access to peer-reviewed articles free for all to view.

For full versions of posted research articles readers are encouraged to email requests for "electronic reprints" (text file, PDF files, FAX copies) to the corresponding or lead author, who is highlighted in the posting.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

The use of disulfiram for alcohol-dependent patients and duration of outpatient treatment
European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience Online First 4 Aug 2009

Despite the fact that alcoholism is a severe public health problem of worldwide proportions, only a limited number of medications is used as coadjuvant treatment. The objectives of this study were to analyse the use of disulfiram for alcohol-dependent patients and the immediate interruption of treatment following medication prescription.

The study showed that both male and female patients who had remained under treatment during the first year used proportionally more disulfiram than those who remained for lesser time under treatment, and immediate treatment interruption was statistically more significant in this latter group of patients after prescription of this medication.

Although disulfiram is an old medication, it seems that this drug can be useful for keeping alcohol-dependent patients under outpatient treatment.

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Influence of body weight on the relationships of alcohol drinking with blood pressure and serum lipids in women
Preventive Medicine Article in Press 29 July 2009

To determine whether body weight influences the associations of habitual alcohol drinking with blood pressure and serum lipids in women.

The results suggest that body weight influences the association of alcohol drinking with blood pressure but not the associations of alcohol drinking with serum HDL and LDL cholesterol.

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Thesis Title
Examination of the Role of Dopamine D3 Receptors in Behavioural Sensitization to Ethanol.

Dopamine D3 receptors (D3Rs) have been implicated in mediating behavioural sensitization to various drugs of abuse, but their role in ethanol (EtOH) sensitization has not been directly examined. Neil Richtand proposed a role for D3Rs in the modulation of sensitization by acting as an inhibitor of D1/D2 receptor-mediated behaviours, and several reports suggest D3Rs up-regulate in response to chronic drugs of abuse. In separate experiments, we examined EtOH sensitization in D3R knockout (KO) as well as in D1R and D2R KO mice. We also examined amphetamine sensitization in D3R KOs compared to wild type mice. We challenged C57Bl/6 and DBA/2 mice with a D3R agonist (PD128907) and antagonist (U99194A) to examine how acute and chronic D3R activation and inactivation may affect the induction and expression of EtOH sensitization. We investigated D1/D3R interactions in sensitized and control mice and examined whether EtOH sensitization leads to changes in D3R binding using [125I]-7-OH-PIPAT autoradiography.

Results showed that D3R KOs, were resistant to EtOH but not amphetamine sensitization. Chronic but not acute D3R blockade with U99194A inhibited the induction, whereas acute D3R activation with PD128907 attenuated the expression of EtOH sensitization. In our D1/D3R interaction study we observed that although PD128907 attenuated D1 agonist-induced hyperactivity with SKF81297, this effect was the same in sensitized and control animals, even though sensitized mice were more responsive to PD128907 than controls. This enhanced response, which suggests a functional up-regulation of D3Rs, was not accompanied by changes in D3R binding as indicated by autoradiography, and could mean that functional changes in the D3R associated with EtOH sensitization occur elsewhere than at the level of the membrane-bound receptor.

Taken together, these results suggest a modulatory role for the D3R in EtOH but not amphetamine sensitization, where D3R activation attenuates the expression and D3R blockade prevents the induction of EtOH sensitization. These results are important because a better understanding of the role of the D3R in EtOH sensitization may help not only to identify some of the underlying neural mechanisms of sensitization, but also help in the identification of treatment strategies for patients that may be susceptible to alcohol abuse.

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Primary Care Validation of a Single-Question Alcohol Screening Test
J Gen Intern Med 24(7):783–788

To validate, in primary care, a single-item screening test for unhealthy alcohol use recommended by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA).

The single screening question recommended by the NIAAA accurately identified unhealthy alcohol use in this sample of primary care patients. These findings support the use of this brief screen in primary care.

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Heparin binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor reduces ethanol-induced apoptosis and differentiation in human embryonic stem cells
Growth Factors 4 August 2009

Alcohol affects approximately 1% (40,000) of new born infants each year and is the main preventable cause of mental retardation in the US. Ethanol alters cell signaling and promotes apoptosis and differentiation. Heparin-binding epidermal growth factor-like growth factor (HB-EGF), a member of the EGF family of growth factors, has been reported to prevent apoptosis and differentiation.

We treated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with ethanol (20 mM) to reflect casual drinking, with and without HB-EGF to measure its ability to prevent ethanol-induced apoptosis and differentiation.

This data suggests that ethanol-induced apoptosis was reduced by HB-EGF, while hESC pluripotency was maintained.

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Survey results support further action on mandatory code for alcohol retailers as consultation is extended

Results of a survey on the government proposals for action on selling alcohol responsibly have been published, suggesting strong support for further action. This comes as the Home Office extend the consultation until the 14th August 2009. . . . . .

Germany Battles Youth Drinking Scourge

For years, Germany has been famous for its tolerant stance toward public drinking. Now many communities are finding that drunken youths are a public nuisance and a danger both to others and themselves. Although several approaches have been taken to solve the problem, few have worked . . . . . .


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Effects of alcohol impairment on motorcycle riding skills
Accident Analysis & Prevention Volume 41, Issue 5, September 2009, Pages 906-913

Alcohol intoxication is a significant risk factor for fatal traffic crashes; however, there is sparse research on the impairing effects of alcohol on skills involved in motorcycle control.

In general, intoxicated riders demonstrated longer response times and adopted larger tolerances leading to more task performance errors. Most of the alcohol effects were evident at the per se 0.08% alcohol level, but some of the effects were observed at the lower 0.05% alcohol level.

The effects of alcohol on motorcycle control and rider behavior were modest and occurred when task demand was high (offset weave), time pressure was high (hazard avoidance for near obstacles), and tolerances were constrained (circuit track).

The modest effects may be due to the study design, in which experienced riders performed highly practiced, low-speed tasks; alcohol at these levels may produce larger effects with less experienced riders in more challenging situations.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Microstructural Corpus Callosum Anomalies in Children With Prenatal Alcohol Exposure: An Extension of Previous Diffusion Tensor Imaging Findings
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research Early View 23 July 2009

Several studies have now shown corpus callosum abnormalities using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) in comparison with nonexposed controls. The data suggest that posterior regions of the callosum may be disproportionately affected.

The current study builds on previous efforts, including our own work, and moves beyond midline corpus callosum to probe major inter-hemispheric white matter pathways with an improved DTI tractographic method. This study also expands on our prior work by evaluating a larger sample and by incorporating children with a broader range of clinical effects including full-criteria fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS).

Consistent with previous DTI studies, these results suggest that microstructural posterior corpus callosum abnormalities are present in children with prenatal alcohol exposure and cognitive impairment. These abnormalities are clinically relevant because they are associated with cognitive deficits and appear to provide evidence of abnormalities associated with prenatal alcohol exposure independent of dysmorphic features. As such, they may yield important diagnostic and prognostic information not provided by the traditional facial characteristics.

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Acute and usual drinking among emergency trauma patients: a study on alcohol consumption and injury patterns
Injury Prevention 2009;15:270-274;

To investigate the relationship between usual and acute alcohol consumption among injured patients and, when combined, how they covary with other injury attributes.

Acute alcohol consumption (24.7%) was associated with usual drinking and particularly with high volumes of consumption. Six injury clusters were identified. Over-representations of acute consumption were found in a cluster typical of injuries sustained through interpersonal violence and in another formed by miscellaneous circumstances. A third cluster, typical of sports injuries, was linked to a group of frequent heavy episodic drinkers (without acute consumption).

Among injured patients, acute alcohol consumption is common and associated with usual drinking. Acute and/or usual consumption form part of some, but not all, injury clusters

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Changes in per capita alcohol sales during the partial privatization of British Columbia's retail alcohol monopoly 2003–2008: a multi-level local area analysis
Addiction Early View 4 Aug 2009

To investigate the independent effects on liquor sales of an increase in (a) the density of liquor outlets and (b) the proportion of liquor stores in private rather than government ownership in British Columbia between 2003/4 and 2007/8.

The trend towards privatisation of liquor outlets between 2003/04 and 2007/08 in British Columbia has contributed to increased per capita sales of alcohol and hence possibly also to increased alcohol-related harm.

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'I have no interest in drinking': a cross-national comparison of reasons why men and women abstain from alcohol use
Addiction Early View 4 Aug 2009

To examine country differences in reasons for abstaining including the association of reasons with country abstaining rate and drinking pattern.

Reasons for abstaining differed significantly for life-time abstainers compared to former drinkers, by gender and age, and by country-level abstaining rate and frequency of drinking.

Life-time abstainers were more likely than former drinkers to endorse 'no interest', 'religion' and 'upbringing' and more reasons overall. Gender differences, especially among former drinkers, suggested that norms restricting drinking may influence reasons that women abstain ('no interest', 'not liking taste') while drinking experiences may be more important considerations for men ('afraid of alcohol problems', 'bad effect on activities').

Younger age was associated with normative reasons ('no interest', 'taste', 'waste of money') and possibly bad experiences ('afraid of problems'). Reasons such as 'religion', 'waste of money' and 'afraid of alcohol problems' were associated with higher country-level rates of abstaining.

Higher endorsement of 'drinking is bad for health' and 'taste' were associated with a country pattern of less frequent drinking while 'not liking effects' was associated with higher drinking frequency.

Reasons for abstaining depend on type of abstainer, gender, age and country drinking norms and patterns.

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Subtypes of major depression in substance dependence
Addiction Early View 4 Aug 2009

This study evaluated features that differentiate subtypes of major depressive episode (MDE) in the context of substance dependence (SD).

Psychiatric measures were better predictors of MDE subtype than substance-related or socio-demographic ones. Subjects with both types of MDE reported more life-time depressive symptoms and comorbid anxiety disorders and were more likely to have attempted suicide than subjects with I-MDE or SI-MDE. Subjects with both types of MDE, like those with I-MDE, were also more likely than subjects with SI-MDE to be alcohol-dependent only than either drug-dependent only or both alcohol- and drug-dependent.

SD individuals with both types of MDE have greater psychiatric severity than those with I-MDE only or SI-MDE only. These and other features that distinguish among the MDE subtypes have important diagnostic and potential therapeutic implications.

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Alcohol and Russian mortality: a continuing crisis
Addiction Early View 4 Aug 2009

Russia remains in the grip of a mortality crisis in which alcohol plays a central role. In 2007, male life expectancy at birth was 61 years, while for females it was 74 years. Alcohol is implicated particularly in deaths among working-age men.

There is convincing evidence that alcohol plays an important role in explaining high mortality in Russia, in particular among working age men. However, there remain important uncertainties about the precise scale of the problem and about the health effects of the distinctive pattern of alcohol consumption that is prevalent in Russia today. While there is a need for further research, enough is known to justify the development of a comprehensive inter-sectoral alcohol control strategy. The recent fall in life expectancy in Russia should give a renewed urgency to attempts to move the policy agenda forward.

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Recovered addicts working in the addiction field: Pitfalls to substance abuse relapse
Drugs: education, prevention and policy First Published 13 July 2009

This paper reviews the literature to examine the perceived potential risks for relapse associated with recovered addicts working in the addictions field.

Potential risks for relapse discussed are the ex-addict's motivation for entering the addiction field, personal help from self-help groups may be lost once in the field, over involvement with clients, over involvement with work, over identification with clients and the repercussions of relapse.

The paper also addresses the limitations of the studies conducted to date, provides recommendations for further research and proposes that this topic be explored using a qualitative approach, so that recovered counselors can construct their own narratives.

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In the 1940s, due to a shortage of professional counselors, combined with the hope of rehabilitation for the addict, there grew a belief that the recovered alcoholic could be trained to enter the field of addiction treatment as a paraprofessional. These early stages of addiction treatment and the emergence of the recovered substance abuser as a counselor fostered a discussion in the role played by the paraprofessional. This discussion subsequently encouraged an accumulation of literature during the early stages of substance abuse treatment in North America, which later began to diminish as the field moved forward towards the twenty-first century. This paper reviews the literature to examine the perceived potential risks for relapse associated with recovered addicts working in the addictions field. Potential risks for relapse discussed are the ex-addict's motivation for entering the addiction field, personal help from self-help groups may be lost once in the field, over involvement with clients, over involvement with work, over identification with clients and the repercussions of relapse. The paper also addresses the limitations of the studies conducted to date, provides recommendations for further research and proposes that this topic be explored using a qualitative approach, so that recovered counselors can construct their own narratives.
No association of alcohol dependence with SLC6A5 and SLC6A9 glycine transporter polymorphisms
Addiction Biology Early View 24 July 2009

To determine whether glycine transporter polymorphisms are associated with alcoholism, three genetic variants of SLC6A5 and two polymorphisms of SLC6A9 were genotyped in 463 German non-alcoholic controls and 644 German alcohol-dependent subjects.

There was a significant association between the SLC6A5 polymorphism (rs1443547) and alcohol dependence as alcoholic individuals had a lower rate of AG-allele (χ2 = 6.048, P = 0.049, d.f. = 2), which did not remain significant after correction for multiple testing.

There was no association between SLC6A9 glycine transporter polymorphisms and alcohol dependence, and also none in haplotype analysis.

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Association between MTHFR 677C-T polymorphism and alcohol dependence according to Lesch and Babor typology
Addiction Biology Early View 24 July 2009

Prior studies have associated 677C-T Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) gene polymorphism with decreased enzymatic activity and modified homocysteine regulation.

This study determines and compares MTHFR 677C-T distribution and examines its consequences on homocysteine metabolism and alcohol dependence in alcoholic patients classified according to the Babor and Lesch typologies.

Determining MTHFR 677C-T genotype, folate and vitamin B12 levels could assist physicians in identifying type 3 patients and improve addictions management

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Alcohol Sensitivity in Drosophila: Translational Potential of Systems Genetics
Genetics 2009; published ahead of print on August 3, 2009

Identification of risk alleles for human behavioral disorders through genome-wide association studies (GWAS) has been hampered by a daunting multiple testing problem. This problem can be circumvented for some phenotypes by combining genome-wide studies in model organisms with subsequent candidate gene association analyses in human populations.

Here, we characterized genetic networks that underlie the response to ethanol exposure in Drosophila melanogaster by measuring ethanol knock-down time in 40 wild-derived inbred Drosophila lines. We associated phenotypic variation in ethanol responses with genome-wide variation in gene expression and identified modules of correlated transcripts associated with a first and second exposure to ethanol vapors as well as the induction of tolerance. We validated the computational networks and assessed their robustness by transposon-mediated disruption of focal genes within modules in a laboratory inbred strain, followed by measurements of transcript abundance of connected genes within the module.

Many genes within the modules have human orthologues, which provides a stepping stone for the identification of candidate genes associated with alcohol drinking behavior in human populations. We demonstrated the potential of this translational approach by identifying seven intronic SNPs of the Malic Enzyme 1 (ME1) gene that are associated with cocktail drinking in 1,687 individuals of the Framingham Offspring cohort, implicating that variation in levels of cytoplasmic malic enzyme may contribute to variation in alcohol consumption.

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Web-based Interventions: Private, Personalized, and Proven

Problem drinking in Western societies contributes to disease and death as well as social and economic woes. Yet only a small number of people with alcohol problems – 10 to 20 percent – ever seek and participate in treatment.

This study examined the real-world effectiveness of a 24/7 free-access, anonymous, interactive, and Web-based self-help intervention called Drinking Less (DL) at

Findings show that DL can help problem drinkers in the privacy of their own homes. . . . . .

News Release - Adams County Lawmakers Help Prevent Fetal Alcohol Disorders with New Law in Effect Tomorrow

DENVER – Wednesday, August 5 marks the day that a number of new laws spearheaded by Democratic legislators and signed by Governor Ritter go into effect. One of those laws was sponsored by Adams County legislators Rep. Judy Solano and Sen. Lois Tochtrop.

Rep. Solano and Sen. Tochtrop sponsored House Bill 1139 which establishes the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Commission to address issues concerning fetal disorders that are caused by alcohol and to make recommendations. The recommendations will address prevention of and education about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders and related health issues.

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The reliability and validity of the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) in first-episode psychosis
Addictive Behaviors Volume 34, Issue 10, October 2009, Pages 821-825

The Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) is a brief, easily administered, valid and reliable screening instrument for all psychoactive substances in drug treatment and primary care settings.
This study aims to determine the reliability and validity of the ASSIST for detecting substance use disorders in first-episode psychosis.

The ASSIST is a psychometrically sound measure of cannabis, alcohol and amphetamine use disorders in first-episode psychosis.

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Emerging adult outcomes of adolescent psychiatric and substance use disorders
Addictive Behaviors Volume 34, Issue 10, October 2009, Pages 800-805

This study investigates the age 25 outcomes of late adolescent mental health and substance use disorders. A hierarchical cluster analysis of age 19 DSM-III-R mental health and substance diagnoses placed participants into one of 9 clusters: Anxious, Depressed, Antisocial, Drug Abuser, Problem Drinker, Anxious Drinker, Depressed Drug Abuser and Antisocial Drinker, and No Diagnosis.

Clusters with co-occurring substance and mental health disorders improved over adolescent levels, but continued to have higher levels of depression symptoms, poorer global functioning, and higher levels of substance use than the No Diagnosis cluster.

Members of the The Problem Drinkers cluster, who tended to have alcohol use disorders only at age 19, did not differ from their peers with no diagnoses.

Drug use disorders in adolescence, with or without a co-occurring mental health disorders, were associated with a poor prognosis in emerging adulthood.

Clinical interventions should distinguish among these diverse clinical presentations.

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Understanding comorbidity between substance use, anxiety and affective disorders: Broadening the research base
Addictive Behaviors Volume 34, Issues 6-7, June-July 2009, Pages 526-530

In this paper, we argue that the research base for understanding comorbidity between substance use and other mental disorders needs to be broadened. We specifically advocate for:

1) more prospective epidemiological studies of relationships between alcohol and other drug use disorders and anxiety and mood disorders;

2) greater use of twin study designs to disentangle shared genetic and environmental contributions to comorbidity;

3) prospective neuroimaging studies of the effects of early and sustained alcohol and drug use on the developing adolescent brain;

4) a greater focus on the effects on comorbidity of primary and secondary prevention interventions for substance use, anxiety, affective and conduct disorders among children and adolescents; and

5) better evaluations of the impact of treatment upon persons with comorbid substance use and other mental disorders.

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Dopamine D2 Receptor Genotype Is Associated with Increased Mortality at a 10-Year Follow-up of Alcohol-Dependent Individuals
Alcohol and Alcoholism Advance Access published online on August 4, 2009

Because the TAQ1 A1 allele may be associated with alcohol-related medical illnesses, and medical illnesses in alcohol-dependent individuals are associated with increased mortality, we test the hypothesis that the TAQ1 A1 allele of the DRD2 gene is associated with increased mortality in alcohol-dependent individuals.

The TAQ I A1 allele of the DRD2 gene (or DRD2 gene region) was associated with increased mortality over a 10-year period in alcohol-dependent individuals.

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Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol

These NHMRC guidelines aim to establish the evidence base for future policies and community materials on reducing the health risks that arise from drinking alcohol. The guidelines communicate evidence concerning these risks to the Australian community to allow individuals to make informed decisions regarding the amount of alcohol that they choose to drink.

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Regional Technical Consultation on Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol

The following report was prepared for the Regional Technical Consultation on Global Strategy to Reduce Harmful Use of Alcohol, which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, 24-26 February, 2009. The main objective of the consultation is to ensure the effective collaboration with member States on developing a draft global strategy to reduce harmful use of alcohol, to ensure that the strategy is based on all available evidence and existing best practices and that the policy options proposed in the strategy take into account different national, religious and cultural contexts.

The Sri Lankan contribution will also cover ongoing national and sub-regional processes, national needs, priority areas for global actions and coordination and examples of best practices wit special emphasis on at-risk populations, young people and those affected by harmful use of alcohol.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Interaction among genes influencing ethanol metabolism and sex is association with alcohol use disorders in a Tibet population
Am J Med Genet Part B. Early View 4 Aug 2009

Associations between alcohol use disorders and polymorphisms of genes influencing ethanol metabolism have been widely reported, but gene-gene and gene-sex interaction studies have rarely been examined.

Using a set of samples collected during an epidemiological study of alcohol use disorders AUDs in a Tibetan population in China, we performed a case-control study to investigate the relationship between the functional polymorphisms of genes influencing ethanol metabolism and AUDs.

Cumulative association analysis showed the number of protective alleles and genotypes were negatively associated with AUDs.

In conclusion, ALDH2*2 and ADH1B*2 alleles were not only independently associated with AUDs but also demonstrated cumulative dosage effects. However the positive association between CYP2E1*c2 allele and AUDs might only exist in males homozygotic for ALDH2*1 and ADH1B*1

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TIP 49: Incorporating Alcohol Pharmacotherapies Into Medical Practice

Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) 49: Incorporating Alcohol Pharmacotherapies Into Medical Practice provides guidelines for the use of medications in the treatment of alcohol use disorders. Written for physicians and other health care providers, the TIP presents information on the four medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat this disease: acamprosate, disulfiram, oral naltrexone, and extended-release injectable naltrexone. The TIP describes each medication’s mechanisms of action, proper dosing, side effects and their management, indications and contraindications, and patient management.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

The Health Effects of Parental Problem Drinking on Adult Children
The Journal of Mental Health Policy and Economics Volume 12, Issue 2, 2009. Pages: 55-66

The objective of this study was to rigorously assess the long-term impacts of parental problem drinking on adult children's mental and self-perceived overall health. The study improves on previous literature by analyzing a range of mental health markers and other predictors of morbidity, by focusing on a period of adulthood that only a limited number of studies have examined, and by using data from a highly regarded and nationally representative panel study.

The results indicate that parental problem drinking is associated with significant mental health consequences for children that persist far into adulthood. Adult respondents with a problem-drinking father were more likely to have been diagnosed with mental health problems relative to other respondents, while those with a problem-drinking mother had poorer self-perceived health and mental health (SF-12) scores. Respondents with a problem-drinking mother were also more likely to have ever been diagnosed with a mental health problem. Outcomes were worse for daughters of problem drinkers than for sons.

These long-lasting consequences of parental problem drinking on adult children's mental health should be considered when designing and financing interventions targeting problem drinkers and their families.

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Catabolism of salivary glycoconjugates in acute ethanol intoxication
Med Sci Monit 2009; 15(8): CR 413-417

The aim was to study the effects of a single large dose of ethanol (~2.0 g/kg of body weight, as 40% vodka) on the specific activities of alpha-mannosidase, alpha-fucosidase, beta-glucuronidase, and beta-galactosidase as well as on the total protein concentration in saliva in eight healthy young volunteers.

Acute ingestion of a large dose of ethanol increased the activity of salivary exoglycosidases, which might be followed by subsequent degradation of proteins in saliva. The observed changes might contribute to salivary defense system malfunction as well as to oral malodor production.

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Childhood Risk Factors for Young Adult Substance Dependence Outcome in Offspring from Multiplex Alcohol Dependence Families: A Prospective Study
Biological Psychiatry Article in Press 29 July 2009

Age of onset to begin drinking is a known risk factor for alcohol dependence. Factors have been identified that contribute to age of onset to begin regular drinking. These include reduced P300, increased postural sway, and personality variation.
A longitudinal study spanning childhood to young adulthood provided the opportunity to determine if these same factors would predict the presence and onset of substance use disorders (SUD).

Our findings indicate that among the factors predicting age of onset to begin regular drinking, P300 predicts SUD outcome across an 11-year span. The present findings provide the longest follow-up to date demonstrating that neurobiological factors in childhood are among the most salient predictors of young adult SUD outcome.

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News Release - Heavy drinkers face significantly increased cancer risk

Montreal study links heavy consumption of beer and spirits to six different cancers

Heavy drinkers of beer and spirits face a much higher risk of developing cancer than the population at large, says a group of Montreal epidemiologists and cancer researchers. Their findings show that people in the highest consumption category increased their risk of developing oesophageal cancer sevenfold, colon cancer by 80% and even lung cancer by 50%.

In all, the researchers found statistically significant relationships between heavy consumption of beer and spririts and six different cancers. Moderate drinking (i.e. less than daily) and wine consumption did not show the same effects, however.

Measurement of the Risk for Substance Use Disorders: Phenotypic and Genetic Analysis of an Index of Common Liability
Behavior Genetics Volume 39, Number 3 / May, 2009 pp. 233-244

The inability to quantify the risk for disorders, such as substance use disorders (SUD), hinders etiology research and development of targeted intervention. Based on the concept of common transmissible liability to SUD related to illicit drugs, a method enabling quantification of this latent trait has been developed, utilizing high-risk design and item response theory.

This study examined properties of a SUD transmissible liability index (TLI) derived using this method.

The data suggest that TLI has concurrent, incremental, predictive and discriminant validity, as well as ethnic differences. The data suggest a high heritability of the index in males. The results suggest applicability of the method for genetic and other etiology-related research, and for evaluation of individual risk.

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Smoking, drinking and incident tuberculosis in rural India: population-based case–control study
International Journal of Epidemiology 2009 38(4):1018-105

To investigate the extent to which smoking and/or drinking can increase the incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB), a population-based case–control study was conducted in rural south India.

This study of reliably confirmed disease (by the criteria of state TB clinics) demonstrates an increased incidence of pulmonary TB among those who smoke and among those who drink. The effects of smoking after adjustment for drinking were more definite than those of drinking after adjustment for smoking.

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