Relevance of Both Daily Hassles and the ALDH2 Genotype to Problem Drinking among Japanese Male Workers


  • This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture of Japan.

Reprint requests: Kanehisa Morimoto, D.M.Sc, Department of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, Osaka University School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka 565, Japan.


The effects of genetic polymorphisms in the ALDH2 and ADH2 genes and stress levels, as assessed by the daily hassles scale on the prevalence of problem drinkers, were investigated in males in a Japanese occupational population. The frequency of problem drinkers was estimated by the Kurihama Alcoholism Screening Test (KAST). The prevalence of those with a high KAST score (≥0.0) was significantly higher in ALDH2*1/*1 (18.4%) than in ALDH2*1/*2 (4.8%). Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed significant contributions by levels of alcohol consumption, the ALDH2 genotype, and daily hassles to the prevalence of those with a high KAST score. When we analyzed the data for each ALDH2 genotype, heavier alcohol consumption (≥28.8 ml/day), older age (≥40 years old), and very high daily hassles levels (≥20) significantly increased the prevalence of problem drinkers in ALDH2*1/*1. On the contrary, no variables other than heavier alcohol consumption influenced the prevalence in ALDH2*1/*2. In summary, the present study revealed significant contributions of both daily hassles and the ALDH2 genotype to the increase of problem drinkers in an occupational population. Health promotion activities to prevent from alcohol dependence should focus on ALDH2*1/*1, especially those of middle age, and should include stress management as a part of their activities.