Intoxication after an Acute Dose of Alcohol: An Assessment of Its Association with Alcohol Consumption Patterns By using Twin Data

Andrew C. Heath, Nicholas G. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined the hypothesis that genetically determined differences in sensitivity to alcohol explain some of the genetic variation in alcohol consumption pattern. Self‐report data on average weekly alcohol consumption and self‐ratings of intoxication after a standard dose of ethanol (0.75 g/kg body weight), used as an index of sensitivity, were obtained on 206 Australian twin pairs. Significant genetic covariance between weekly consumption and level of intoxication after alcohol intake was found in males, lower ratings of intoxication being associated with increased consumption. However, when direction of causation models were fitted to the male twin data, the hypothesis that decreased sensitivity was a cause of increased consumption was rejected. The major causal effect was that of weekly consumption on level of sensitivity. A similar, although nonsignificant, trend was observed in females. The strength of the association between self‐report of average weekly consumption and level of intoxication after a standard dose of alcohol supports the validity of the former measure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-128
Number of pages7
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1991

Keywords

  • Alcohol Challenge
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Twins

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