A family history of Type 1 alcoholism differentiates alcohol consumption in high cortisol responders to stress.Pharmacol Biochem Behav 2015; 130:59-66PB
The differentiation between high and low cortisol responders to stress is of interest in determining the risk factors which may, along with genetic vulnerability, influence alcohol intake.
There were no differences in consumption of alcohol or placebo between FHP and FHN subjects. STUDY 2:
Fifty-eight healthy social drinkers, FHP (n = 27) and FHN (n = 31) attended two laboratory sessions. They were administered either alcohol or placebo in both sessions they attended. All subjects underwent either a stress task (the Trier Social Stress Test, TSST) or a stress-free period, at two separate occasions, before being offered beverage. After the salivary cortisol analysis, subjects in each group were divided into high (HCR) or low (LCR) cortisol responders.
After stress, subjects who were FHP-HCR consumed more alcohol than FHN-HCR. There were no differences in the placebo intake between FHP and FHN subjects regardless of their cortisol response.
This result indicates that stress promotes alcohol consumption only in subjects with a family history of Type 1 alcoholism who show an increase in cortisol response to stress. This behaviour is similar to that previously observed in alcohol dependent individuals after stress and thus could represent an endophenotype posing a risk for future development of alcohol use disorders.