Does your gene increase your chances of alcoholism? One factor reduces risk

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By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter

Thursday, September 16, 2021 (HealthDay News)

Having a strong network of supportive friends and family may help diminish, even when genetics and personality are working against you Alcoholism Risk, researchers say.

“Genes are alcohol Use “. Jinni Su, an assistant professor of psychology at Arizona State University in Tempe and the lead author of the new study, emphasized.

But “genes are not our destiny,” she added.

For research, her team analyzed links between genes make up, Personality traits, social support and Alcoholism Risks between more than 2,800 men and women between the ages of 18 and 65.

Researchers have found that adults at high genetic risk for problematic drinking are more likely to have a thrill-seeking personality, Sue said.

However, they also found that strong social support from friends and family prevented drinking.

“Family and friends can play an important role in helping loved ones who may struggle alcohol For example, problems arise by providing emotional support or helping to identify and engage in activities that lead to genetic predisposition in a healthy way, “Su explained.

In everyday life, she said, it could mean spitting eggs on high-risk, sensation-seeking friends to get the thrill from rock climbing rather than just drinking.

Nonetheless, the research team highlighted previous studies showing that about half of the risk of developing drinking problems is due to a genetic predisposition.

All study participants were European-Americans enrolled in a study on the genetics of alcoholism initiated in 1991.

All were initially evaluated and followed up with a cumulative DNA analysis of their drinking behavior. Participants also completed a personality survey designed to see how attracted they were to the sensation-seeking situation.

Example question: Which do you like better, a violent and unrestrained party or a quiet party with good conversation?

Finally, participants were asked to discuss the degree of moral, emotional and social support they received from friends and family.

result?Person who does Hereditary High risk Alcohol abuse They were also more likely to seek sensation and were more likely to drink excessively.

At the same time, “we found that people at high genetic risk of alcohol misuse are more likely to have poor social relationships,” Su said. Investigators specifically cited the low level of family support among heavy drinkers.

But the reverse is also true, she said. “Strong social support from friends and family prevented drinking, especially among those who were more likely to seek genetic risk and sensation.”

More broadly, Sue said the emphasis on research on strong and complex interactions between social support, genetics and personality can be very helpful in efforts to help control excessive drinking.

“This finding gives us a possible pathway to help individuals at genetic risk guide their predisposition in a healthy way,” she said.

Michael Pollard, a senior sociologist at RAND Corporation, repeated the same idea.

“We already know that social support is protected from all sorts of negative consequences, including alcohol use disorders,” said Polard, a professor at the Paldiland Graduate School in Santa Monica, California.

“But this study helps put a link between social support and genetic predisposition by identifying its role in reducing sensory exploration to help control problematic drinking habits. “I will.”

Polard warned that the study was “measured” Perception This means that people with alcohol use disorders may not be very aware of the actual level of support they may get from their families, he explained.

Still, he admitted that perceived problems often become real problems, especially among older adults who “have fewer friends to rely on than younger adults.”

Research funding came from the U.S. National Laboratory Alcohol abuse And Alcoholism and the National Institute of America Substance abuse..Survey results recently published Abnormal Psychology Journal..

For more information

Find out how families can deal with the risk of alcoholism US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Management..

Source: Jinni Su, PhD, Associate Professor, Psychology, Arizona State University, Tempe; Michael S. Pollard, PhD, Senior Sociologist at RAND Corporation, and Professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School in Santa Monica, California. Abnormal Psychology Journal, July 1, 2021

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