An evaluation of Type A and B alcoholics


  • Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (H. Begkiter, SUNY HSCB Principal Investigator, T. Reich, Washington University, Co- Principal Investigator) includes six different centers where data collection takes place. The six sites and Principal Investigator and Co-Invesiigators are: Indiana University Q. Numberger, P. M. Conneally); University of Iowa (R. Crowe, S. Kuperman); University of California at San Diego and Scripps Institute (M. Schuckit, F. Bloom); University of Connecticut (V. Hesselbrock); State University of New York, Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn (H. Begleiter, B. Porjesz); Washington University in St, Louis (T. Reich, C. R. Cloninger). This national collaborative study is supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) by USPHS grants NIAAA U10AA08401, U10AA08402, U10AA08403.


Evaluations of 1539 alcohol-dependent subjects (including 5/2 women) were carried out in an attempt to replicate the Type AJB dichotomy suggested by Babor et al. (1992). The subjects are participants in the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA), and each was evaluated using a face-to-face structured interview. Following the procedure of Babor et al. (1992), data were used to create 17 domains, and a k-means clustering method was invoked to generate a two-cluster solution. Thirty-one per cent of the mates and 25% of the females fell into the Type B group, with overall R2 of 0.22 and 0.24 for males and females, respectively. The scores in each of the 17 domains and the analyses of the clinical characteristics for Type A and B subjects were, in general, consistent with the earlier onset and more severe course for Type B men and women. The ability of the domains to identify subgroups of alcoholics remained robust even after the exclusion of alcohol dependent subjects with antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and those with an onset of alcohol dependence before age 25 years. The present analyses suggest that five of the 17 domains might be especially useful in identifying Type A and B groups.