Positive family history of alcohol use disorder (FHP), a variable associated with propensity for alcohol use disorder (AUD), has been linked with elevated hangover frequency and severity, after controlling for alcohol use. This implies that hangover experiences may be related to AUD. However, inadequate control of alcohol consumption levels, low alcohol dose and testing for hangover during the intoxication phase detract from these findings. Here, we present further data pertinent to understanding the relationship between family history and alcohol hangover.
Study 1 compared past year hangover frequency in a survey of 24 FHP and 118 family history negative (FHN) individuals. Study 2 applied a quasi-experimental naturalistic approach assessing concurrent hangover severity in 17 FHP and 32 FHN individuals the morning after drinking alcohol. Both studies applied statistical control for alcohol consumption levels.
In Study 1, both FHP status and estimated blood alcohol concentration on the heaviest drinking evening of the past month predicted the frequency of hangover symptoms experienced over the previous 12 months. In Study 2, estimated blood alcohol concentration the previous evening predicted hangover severity but FHP status did not.
FHP, indicating familial risk for AUD, was not associated with concurrent hangover severity but was associated with increased estimates of hangover frequency the previous year.