If you have a close relative who is an alcoholic, then you are more likely to respond positively to the effects of alcohol than those who do not have such family members, according to a new study from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
Researchers collected 51 participants for their study. Twenty-two of them had close family members who suffered from Type 1 alcoholism, which depends to a large extent on the interaction of genetic factors with environmental ones, such as social environment and traumatic events. The other kind of alcoholism (Type 2) depends only on genetics.
The participants drank either alcohol or juice in large amounts, and then described how the liquids made them feel. Those who had the family members with Type 1 alcoholism were more likely to report positive and stimulating effects from their alcoholic drinks, and ask for more.
"These results show that some of us are more responsive to the rewarding effects of alcohol," said Dr. Anna Soderpalm-Gordh, a scientist at Sahlgrenska Academy in Sweden. "The results suggest that children of type l alcoholics, who have been considered to run a smaller hereditary risk of developing alcohol addiction, may be in the danger zone for developing alcoholism."
About 40% of Swedes have close family members who are alcohol dependent.
This study appears in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.