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Hundreds of genetic variants can affect nature of alcohol abuse, researchers say

January 30, 2019 - 3:00 am
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KYW Newsradio’s Medical Reports are sponsored by Independence Blue Cross. 

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There is no doubt that alcoholism can run in families. 

Although alcohol abuse can be influenced by the so-called social determinants of health, there is a tricky relationship between environment and heredity. 

But now, there is information from the journal Nature Genetics that suggests there is not just one alcohol gene but as many as 500 genetic variants that can affect the nature of alcohol use. 

Researchers  at the University of Minnesota believe genes that determine alcohol abuse are linked to other genes, which impact a wide variety of health condition such as obesity and heart disease.