Alcoholism Susceptibility Loci: Confirmation Studies in a Replicate Sample and Further Mapping


  • The Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism (COGA) is supported by NIAA Grant U10AA08403 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institutes of Health. Preparation of this manuscript also was supported by NIAAA Grant KO2AA00285-01 (T.F.).

Reprint requests: Tatiana Foroud, Ph.D., Department of Medical and Molecalular Genetics, Indiana University School of Medicine, 975 W. Walnut St. IB-155, Indianapolis, IN 46202; Fax: 317-274-2387 E-mail:


Background: There is substantial evidence for a significant genetic component to the risk for alcoholism. A previous study reported linkage to chromosomes 1, 2, and 7 in a large data set that consisted of 105 families, each with at least three alcoholic members.

Methods: Additional, genotyping in the 105 families has been completed in the chromosomal regions identified in the initial analyses, and a replication sample of 157 alcoholic families ascertained under identical criteria has been genotyped. Two hierarchical definitions of alcoholism were employed in the linkage analyses: (1) Individuals who met both Feighner and DSM-III-R criteria for alcohol dependence represented a broad definition of disease; and (2) individuals who met ICD-10 criteria for alcoholism were considered affected under a more severe definition of disease.

Results: Genetic analyses of affected sibling pairs supported linkage to chromosome 1 (LOD = 1.6) in the replication data set as well as in a combined analysis of the two samples (LOD = 2.6). Evidence of linkage to chromosome 7 increased in the combined data (LOD = 2.9). The LOD score on chromosome 2 in the initial data set increased after genotyping of additional markers; however, combined analyses of the two data sets resulted in overall lower LOD scores (LOD = 1.8) on chromosome 2. A new finding of linkage to chromosome 3 was identified in the replication data set (LOD = 3.4).

Conclusions: Analyses of a second large sample of alcoholic families provided further evidence of genetic susceptibility loci on chromosomes 1 and 7. Genetic analyses also have identified susceptibility loci on chromosomes 2 and 3 that may act only in one of the two data sets.