Study finds education and age may affect alcohol behavior and alcohol dependence risk

On October 25th, a study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry showed that the higher the level of education, the more likely they are to drink and reduce their risk of alcohol dependence. Alcohol consumption is a major risk factor for death and disability worldwide, and identifying factors related to how much people drink, how often and how much they drink may be important in developing and improving intervention and treatment strategies. Previous studies have shown that education may affect alcohol consumption, but the results are not consistent.

To assess the possible impact of education levels on alcohol use behavior and alcohol dependence, a team of researchers at the National Institutes of Health used a two-sample Mendel randomized statistical method.

Using genetic data from the International Union of Genomics, the authors looked at a group of 53 genetic variants that were previously associated with differences in educational attainment and their association with certain drinking behaviors.

Dr Falk Lohoff said: “Using data from about 780,000 study participants, we found that genetic variation serot to 3.61 years of education was associated with a reduced risk of alcohol dependence by about 50 percent. Genetic variations associated with education also influence the way people drink and the type of alcohol they drink. ”


The researchers showed that genetic variations associated with high education were not associated with the amount of alcohol consumed during the week, but were associated with alcoholism, the frequency of memory loss caused by alcohol consumption, the amount of alcohol consumed per day, and the decrease in the frequency of weekly drinking of distilled spirits, beer and cider. The correlation between reduced alcohol consumption in women was more pronounced than that of men, while the decrease in average weekly beer and cider intake was more pronounced among men than in women.

Genetic variations associated with increased education were also associated with increased alcohol consumption, drinking during meals (especially for men) and increased consumption by men and women.

Dr Lohoff said: “It is important to understand that while these genetic variants allow us to study the possible effects of education on alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence, this does not mean that education levels cannot be changed. In this study, we show that the possible impact of education on alcohol consumption suggests that increased levels of education may be a useful goal in preventing alcoholism, alcohol dependence and its consequences. ”

The researchers note that because the genetic data tested by the institute was obtained from people in English-speaking countries, the findings may have limited applicability to other countries. It is necessary to reproduce the results of the study using data from different countries and ethnic groups.

The authors add that since education only measures the number of years of completion, it is not possible to determine the different effects of all aspects of education on alcohol consumption, but it should be investigated in future studies.

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