ADH genotype does not modify the effects of alcohol on high-density lipoprotein

John B. Whitfield, Martin E. O'Brien, Brian N. Nightingale, Gu Zhu, Andrew C. Heath, Nicholas G. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Alcohol consumption has beneficial effects on mortality which are mainly due to reduction in cardiovascular disease. These are believed to be due, at least in part, to the increase in plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) which is associated with alcohol consumption. It has been proposed that ADH3 genotype modifies the relationships between alcohol intake and cardiovascular disease by altering the HDL response to alcohol. The aim of this paper was to test for effects of ADH2 and ADH3 genotypes on the response of HDL components to habitual alcohol consumption. Methods: Adult male and female subjects were genotyped for ADH2 and ADH3; and plasma HDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-I, and apolipoprotein A-II were measured. Nine hundred one subjects had both ADH2 and ADH3 genotypes and HDL cholesterol results, while 753 had both genotypes and all three lipid results. The effect of alcohol intake on the three measured HDL components, and a factor score derived from them, was estimated for each of the ADH2 and ADH3 genotype groups. Results: All the measured components of HDL increased with increasing alcohol consumption over the range of intakes studied, 0-4 drinks per day. There were no significant interactions between alcohol consumption and ADH2 or ADH3 genotypes. Conclusions: The concept that alcohol dehydrogenase genotype and alcohol metabolic rate modify the effects of alcohol on plasma HDL concentration is not supported by our results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-514
Number of pages6
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


  • ADH Genotype
  • HDL
  • High-Density Lipoproteins


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