A Population-Based Twin Study of Alcoholism in Women

Kenneth S. Kendler, MD; Andrew C. Heath, DPhil; Michael C. Neale, PhD; Ronald C. Kessler, PhD; Lindon J. Eaves, PhD, DSc
JAMA. 1992;268(14):1877-1882. doi:10.1001/jama.1992.03490140085040.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Objective.  —To clarify the role of genetic factors in the etiology of alcoholism in women.

Design and Setting.  —Personal structured psychiatric interviews conducted by researchers "blinded" to the status of the co-twin in an epidemiologic sample of 1030 female-female twin pairs of known zygosity from the population-based Virginia Twin Registry.

Measures.  —Three definitions of lifetime prevalence of alcoholism based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised criteria: (1) alcoholism with tolerance or dependence; (2) alcoholism with or without tolerance-dependence; and (3) alcoholism with or without tolerance-dependence or problem drinking.

Results.  —Using narrow, intermediate, or broad definitions, the probandwise concordance for alcoholism was consistently higher in monozygotic than in dizygotic twin pairs. Multifactorial threshold models suggested that the heritability of liability to alcoholism in women is in the range of 50% to 60%.

Conclusions.  —The results support the hypothesis that genetic factors play a major role in the etiology of alcoholism in women. Women should be well represented in the efforts currently under way to elucidate the molecular basis of the genetic susceptibility to alcoholism.(JAMA. 1992;268:1877-1882)


Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours




Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).


Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.