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Abstract

The frequency ADH2-2 allele in the Moscow urban population and a correlation between the ADH2-2 allele, alcoholic dependence without cirrhosis, symptomatic alcoholic cirrhosis and status on hepatitis B and C infection have been studied. One hundred and twenty-three inhabitants of Moscow (50 healthy donors, 36 patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (subdivided into infected and uninfected by HBV and/or HCV) and 37 patients with alcoholic dependence) of a similar age/sex and drinking pattern have been analysed. The frequency of 41% for ADH2-2 allele is characteristic for an urban Moscow population. This value is intermediate between that found for Asian peoples and for Central and Western Europe. There is a negative correlation between the ADH2-2 allele and alcohol misuse (both alcoholic dependence and alcoholic cirrhosis). This correlation is expressed more in alcoholic dependence. In spite of the possession of the ADH2-2 allele (or genotype ADH2-1/2), alcohol misuse increases the risk of cirrhosis. At the same time, positive status for active hepatitis B, C or combined infection B + C (replication markers HBV-DNA or HCV-RNA) increases the risk for symptomatic alcoholic cirrhosis in alcohol abusing patients, independently of ADH2 genotype.