Harmful drinking in military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: Association with the D2 dopamine receptor A1 allele
Young, Ross McD., Lawford, Bruce R., Noble, Ernest P., Kann, Burnett, Wilkie, A., Ritchie, Terry, Arnold, Leanne, & Shadforth, Susan (2002) Harmful drinking in military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder: Association with the D2 dopamine receptor A1 allele. Alcohol and Alcoholism : International Journal of the Medical Council on Alcoholism, 37(5), pp. 451-456.
Aims: The frequency of the Taq I A alleles (A1 and A2) of the D2 dopamine receptor (DRD2) gene was examined in Caucasian post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients and controls. Results: In 91 PTSD patients, the frequency of the A1 allele was higher (P = 6.12 x 10-3) than in the 51 controls. In the 38 PTSD harmful drinkers (60 g alcohol/day), A1 allelic frequency was higher (P = 3.91 x 10-2) than in the 53 non-harmful drinkers (<60 g alcohol/day), the former being also higher (P = 3.76 x 10-4) than in controls. However, there was no difference between non-harmful drinkers and controls. Based on DRD2 allelic association, the 35 PTSD patients with the A1+ (A1A1, A1A2) allele consumed more than twice the daily amount of alcohol than the 56 patients with the A1- (A2A2) allele (P = 1.94 x 10-3). When the hourly rate of alcohol consumed was compared, A1+ allelic patients consumed twice the rate of the A1- allelic patients (P < 10-7). Conclusion: The DRD2 A1 allele was associated with PTSD. However, this association was found only in the harmful drinkers. PTSD patients with the A1+ allele consumed more alcohol than patients with the A1- allele. The importance of determining alcohol consumption in DRD2 association studies with PTSD is suggested.
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