Alcohol-metabolising genes and alcoholism among Taiwanese Han men: Independent effect of ADH2, ADH3 and ALDH2

Wei J. Chen, E. W. Loh, Yun Pung P. Hsu, Chiao Chicy Chen, Jeng Ming Yu, Andrew T.A. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Citations (Scopus)


Background. Previous population association studies have indicated that certain alleles of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) may reduce the risk of alcoholism in Asian populations. The association of ALDH2 and ADH2 with the development of alcoholism was found to be independent of each other and has been replicated in different Asian populations, while the effect of ADH3 is less studied. Method. We genotyped the alcohol metabolism genes among Han men with alcohol dependence (n = 46) and their ethnically matched normal controls (n = 63) in Taiwan. Multiple logistic regression was then applied to assess the contribution of ADH3 to alcoholism by controlling the effect of ALDH2 and ADH2. Results. The results of multivariate analyses demonstrated that the odds ratios for an increment of one allele of ADH2*1, ADH3*2 and ALDH2*1 in the development of alcoholism were 4.18, 3.82, and 6.89, respectively. Conclusions. These findings clearly indicate that all three alcohol-metabolising genes contribute to susceptibility to alcoholism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-767
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue numberJUNE
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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