Supported by NIAAA Grants 05526 and 08403; by funds provided by the State of California for medical research on alcohol and substance abuse through the University of California, San Francisco; by the Veterans Affairs Research Service; and by a grant from the CompassPoint Addiction Foundation.
Findings Across Subgroups Regarding the Level of Response to Alcohol as a Risk Factor for Alcohol Use Disorders: A College Population of Women and Latinos
Article first published online: 3 MAY 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 28, Issue 10, pages 1499–1508, October 2004
How to Cite
Schuckit, M. A., Smith, T. L. and Kalmijn, J. (2004), Findings Across Subgroups Regarding the Level of Response to Alcohol as a Risk Factor for Alcohol Use Disorders: A College Population of Women and Latinos. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 28: 1499–1508. doi: 10.1097/01.ALC.0000141814.80716.32
- Issue published online: 3 MAY 2006
- Article first published online: 3 MAY 2006
- Received for publication March 8, 2004; accepted July 7, 2004.
- Levels of Response;
Background: The rates of alcohol dependence, a genetically influenced disorder, are increased among Latino men in the United States and are lower among women across ethnic groups. These analyses explored whether the differential rate of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) might reflect one genetically influenced phenotype related to alcoholism risk: the low level of response (LR) to alcohol.
Methods: A questionnaire was mailed to students at two universities to identify drinking but not alcohol-dependent 18- to 29-year-old men and women who had a parent with alcohol dependence. Subjects were subsequently screened with a validated semistructured interview to corroborate the personal and family histories, and they participated in a challenge with alcohol 0.75 ml/kg for women and 0.90 ml/kg for men. LRs to alcohol were determined and compared between genders and between Latino versus Caucasian/Anglo subjects.
Results: The data revealed no consistent significant differences between genders regarding either subjective feelings of intoxication or alcohol-induced changes in body sway. A similar lack of differential between groups was observed when Latino and Caucasian/Anglo subjects were compared. However, there was at least a statistical trend for interactions when gender, ethnicity, and time were considered together; there was some evidence for a higher LR in Latina women. Perhaps reflecting the different weights and doses of alcohol used, men demonstrated higher breath alcohol concentrations, but no differences in these values were noted between Latino and Anglo populations.
Conclusions: The results indicate that the LR to alcohol is not likely to explain differences in rates of AUDs between genders or these two ethnic groups overall. The possibility that a higher LR might be seen for the subgroup with the lowest AUD rate—Latina women—will require replication in larger samples of well matched groups before definitive conclusions can be drawn.