'Alcoholic parents lead kids to drinking'
Mon, 18 Apr 2011 10:56:10 GMT
Children of parents who have an alcohol use disorder (AUD) are at a considerably higher risk of developing alcoholism later in life, a study shows.
Danish researchers who studied data about 3,627 men and 3,550 women born in Copenhagen found that the risk of an AUD, which includes alcoholism and alcohol abuse, was higher among those whose parents had an AUD.
The increased risk was independent of other major predictors, such as gender, parents' social status and the psychiatric hospitalization of parents, researchers wrote in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.
"Furthermore, this association appeared to be stronger among female than male offspring, which suggests that inherited factors related to AUDs are at least as important among daughters as among sons," said the study's corresponding author Erik Lykke Mortensen from the University of Copenhagen.
"This finding is important because some early studies suggested that a genetic load played a stronger role in males than in females," he added.
According to HealthDay, the researchers noted that Denmark offered some advantages to this type of study.
"Longitudinal population studies are both expensive and take a long time to complete," Mortensen said.
"In some countries it may also be a problem to follow several generations through decades. But in Denmark we have personal identification numbers and national health registries.”
"The key message for the general public is that there is an increased risk associated with parental alcoholism, but obviously many other factors determine whether an individual develops an AUD," he concluded.