Portions of these data were presented at the Third Congress of the International Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism, Helsinki, June 10, 1986.
Genetic Influences on Use and Abuse of Alcohol: A Study of 5638 Adult Finnish Twin Brothers
Version of Record online: 11 APR 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 11, Issue 4, pages 349–356, August 1987
How to Cite
Kaprio, J., Koskenvuo, M., Langinvainio, H., Romanov, K., Sarna, S. and Rose, R. J. (1987), Genetic Influences on Use and Abuse of Alcohol: A Study of 5638 Adult Finnish Twin Brothers. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 11: 349–356. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1987.tb01324.x
Research of the Finnish Twin Cohort has been supported by the Council for Tobacco Research, USA-Inc, and portions of this study were also supported by a grant from the Finnish Foundation for Alcohol Studies. Collaboration of RJR was made possible by Senior Fellowship TW 01019 from the Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Health, and by Grant 06232 from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
- Issue online: 11 APR 2006
- Version of Record online: 11 APR 2006
- Received for publication July 1, 1986, revised manuscript received September 22, 1986, accepted October 22, 1986
To evaluate genetic influences on the use and abuse of alcohol, we compared questionnaire measures of the frequency, quantity, and density of social drinking, and the frequency of alcohol-induced passouts self-reported by 879 monozygotic (MZ) and 1940 dizygotic (DZ) pairs of twin brothers, aged 24–49 yr. The measures of frequency, quantity, and density (heavy drinking once or more a month) significantly intercorrelate, and the self-reported alcohol consumption by this sample is satisfactorily stable and consistent with nationwide sales figures. None of the drinking measures was associated with twin type (zygosity), and only density correlated with age. Similarity of drinking habits among twin brothers was evaluated as a function of their genetic resemblance and age, the frequency of their social contact with one another, and the interactions of these terms. The effects were estimated from hierarchical linear regressions of a double-entry data matrix from which each twin's drinking was predicted from that of his twin brother, and that pair's age, zygosity, cohabitation status, and frequency of social contact. Significant genetic variance was found for each of the drinking measures with heritability estimates ranging from 0.36 to 0.40. Co-twins in more frequent social contact with one another reported greater similarity in their use of alcohol, but heritable variance remained after the effects of age and social contact were removed from both mean levels and co-twin resemblance. Reported frequency of pass-outs yielded significant, but equivalent, correlations in both MZ and DZ twins and no evidence of genetic influence.