Common genetic influences on depression, alcohol, and substance use disorders in Mexican-American families

Authors

  • R.L. Olvera,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
    2. Research Imaging Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
    • Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, 7703 Floyd Curl Dr., San Antonio, TX 78229.
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  • C.E. Bearden,

    1. Departments of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Psychology, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, University of California, Los Angeles, California
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  • D.I. Velligan,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
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  • L. Almasy,

    1. Department of Genetics, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
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  • M.A. Carless,

    1. Department of Genetics, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
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  • J.E. Curran,

    1. Department of Genetics, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
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  • D.E. Williamson,

    1. Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
    2. Research Imaging Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
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  • R. Duggirala,

    1. Department of Genetics, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
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  • J. Blangero,

    1. Department of Genetics, Texas Biomedical Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas
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  • D.C. Glahn

    1. Research Imaging Institute, University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
    2. Olin Neuropsychiatry Research Center, Institute of Living, Hartford, Connecticut
    3. Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
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  • How to cite this article: Olvera RL, Bearden CE, Velligan DI, Almasy L, Carless MA, Curran JE, Williamson DE, Duggirala R, Blangero J, Glahn DC. 2011. Common Genetic Influences on Depression, Alcohol, and Substance Use Disorders in Mexican-American Families. Am J Med Genet Part B 156:561–568.

Abstract

Multiple genetic and environmental factors influence the risk for both major depression and alcohol/substance use disorders. In addition, there is evidence that these illnesses share genetic factors. Although, the heritability of these illnesses is well established, relatively few studies have focused on ethnic minority populations. Here, we document the prevalence, heritability, and genetic correlations between major depression and alcohol and drug disorders in a large, community-ascertained sample of Mexican-American families. A total of 1,122 Mexican-American individuals from 71 extended pedigrees participated in the study. All subjects received in-person psychiatric interviews. Heritability, genetic, and environmental correlations were estimated using SOLAR. Thirty-five percent of the sample met criteria for DSM-IV lifetime major depression, 34% met lifetime criteria for alcohol use disorders, and 8% met criteria for lifetime drug use disorders. The heritability for major depression was estimated to be h2 = 0.393 (P = 3.7 × 10−6). Heritability estimates were higher for recurrent depression (h2 = 0.463, P = 4.0 × 10−6) and early onset depression (h2 = 0.485, P = 8.5 × 10−5). While the genetic correlation between major depression and alcohol use disorders was significant (ρg = 0.58, P = 7 × 10−3), the environmental correlation between these traits was not significant. Although, there is evidence for increased rates of depression and substance use in US-born individuals of Mexican ancestry, our findings indicate that genetic control over major depression and alcohol/substance use disorders in the Mexican-American population is similar to that reported in other populations. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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