Monday, June 2, 2008

Not All University Students Will 'Mature Out' Of Heavy Drinking Habits

ScienceDaily (June 2, 2008) — Not all university students will "mature out" of their heavy-drinking habits. A new study examines the density of college students' family history of alcoholism. This type of measure -- looking at first-, second- and third-degree relatives -- identified a significant number of at-risk individuals who would have been missed using regular family-history measures.

While many university students tend to "mature out" of heavy-drinking behavior by the time they become young adults, some go on to develop alcohol-use disorders (AUDs). Most genetic research on an individual's family history of alcoholism (FHA) has looked at the parents' -- usually paternal -- alcohol use. New findings indicate that looking at the density of FHA -- including first-, second- and third-degree relatives -- is much more telling.

"Using a density measure of FHA can identify a greater number of individuals who may be at risk for developing an alcohol problem," said Christy Capone, a postdoctoral research fellow at Brown University's Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies and the study's first author. "The greater number of affected relatives ... the greater the potential risk of developing an AUD. Ours is the first published study to examine this measure among college students."

Click here to read entire article at Science

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