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Genetic and environmental effects on offspring alcoholism: new insights using an offspring-of-twins design.
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003 Dec; 60(12):1265-72.AG

Abstract

CONTEXT

Although there is now considerable evidence that genetic effects play a critical role in the development of alcohol dependence (AD), theoretical and methodological limitations of this literature require caution in describing the etiology and development of this disorder.

OBJECTIVE

To disentangle genetic and environmental effects on AD by means of the infrequently used, yet potentially powerful, offspring-of-twins design.

DESIGN

Offspring of twins.

PARTICIPANTS

Male monozygotic and dizygotic twins concordant or discordant for AD and control pairs from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry were assessed, as were the offspring of these twins and the mothers of these offspring.

INTERVENTIONS

Structured psychiatric interviews.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

Participants' psychiatric, alcohol abuse (AA), and AD histories (DSM-IV).

RESULTS

Offspring of monozygotic and dizygotic twins with a history of AD were significantly more likely to exhibit AA or AD than were offspring of nonalcoholic fathers. Offspring of an alcohol-abusing monozygotic twin whose co-twin was AD were also more likely to exhibit AD than were offspring of nonalcoholic twins. In contrast, offspring of an unaffected (ie, no history of abuse or dependence) monozygotic twin whose co-twin was AD were no more likely to exhibit AA or AD than were offspring of nonalcoholic twins.

CONCLUSIONS

These findings support the hypothesis that family environmental effects do make a difference in accounting for offspring outcomes, in particular, that a low-risk environment (ie, the absence of parental alcoholism) can moderate the impact of high genetic risk regarding offspring for the development of alcohol-use disorders.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Menlo Park, CA 94025, USA. tjacob@pgsp.eduNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
Twin Study

Language

eng

PubMed ID

14662559

Citation

Jacob, Theodore, et al. "Genetic and Environmental Effects On Offspring Alcoholism: New Insights Using an Offspring-of-twins Design." Archives of General Psychiatry, vol. 60, no. 12, 2003, pp. 1265-72.
Jacob T, Waterman B, Heath A, et al. Genetic and environmental effects on offspring alcoholism: new insights using an offspring-of-twins design. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60(12):1265-72.
Jacob, T., Waterman, B., Heath, A., True, W., Bucholz, K. K., Haber, R., Scherrer, J., & Fu, Q. (2003). Genetic and environmental effects on offspring alcoholism: new insights using an offspring-of-twins design. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60(12), 1265-72.
Jacob T, et al. Genetic and Environmental Effects On Offspring Alcoholism: New Insights Using an Offspring-of-twins Design. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003;60(12):1265-72. PubMed PMID: 14662559.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Genetic and environmental effects on offspring alcoholism: new insights using an offspring-of-twins design. AU - Jacob,Theodore, AU - Waterman,Brian, AU - Heath,Andrew, AU - True,William, AU - Bucholz,Kathleen K, AU - Haber,Randy, AU - Scherrer,Jeff, AU - Fu,Qiang, PY - 2003/12/10/pubmed PY - 2004/1/22/medline PY - 2003/12/10/entrez SP - 1265 EP - 72 JF - Archives of general psychiatry JO - Arch Gen Psychiatry VL - 60 IS - 12 N2 - CONTEXT: Although there is now considerable evidence that genetic effects play a critical role in the development of alcohol dependence (AD), theoretical and methodological limitations of this literature require caution in describing the etiology and development of this disorder. OBJECTIVE: To disentangle genetic and environmental effects on AD by means of the infrequently used, yet potentially powerful, offspring-of-twins design. DESIGN: Offspring of twins. PARTICIPANTS: Male monozygotic and dizygotic twins concordant or discordant for AD and control pairs from the Vietnam Era Twin Registry were assessed, as were the offspring of these twins and the mothers of these offspring. INTERVENTIONS: Structured psychiatric interviews. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Participants' psychiatric, alcohol abuse (AA), and AD histories (DSM-IV). RESULTS: Offspring of monozygotic and dizygotic twins with a history of AD were significantly more likely to exhibit AA or AD than were offspring of nonalcoholic fathers. Offspring of an alcohol-abusing monozygotic twin whose co-twin was AD were also more likely to exhibit AD than were offspring of nonalcoholic twins. In contrast, offspring of an unaffected (ie, no history of abuse or dependence) monozygotic twin whose co-twin was AD were no more likely to exhibit AA or AD than were offspring of nonalcoholic twins. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the hypothesis that family environmental effects do make a difference in accounting for offspring outcomes, in particular, that a low-risk environment (ie, the absence of parental alcoholism) can moderate the impact of high genetic risk regarding offspring for the development of alcohol-use disorders. SN - 0003-990X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/14662559/Genetic_and_environmental_effects_on_offspring_alcoholism:_new_insights_using_an_offspring_of_twins_design_ L2 - https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/fullarticle/vol/60/pg/1265 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -