Genome-Wide Association Study Meta-Analysis of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) in Two Population-Based Cohorts.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Alcohol use disorders are common conditions that have enormous social and economic consequences. Genome-wide association analyses were performed to identify genetic variants associated with a proxy measure of alcohol consumption and alcohol misuse and to explore the shared genetic basis between these measures and other substance use, psychiatric, and behavioral traits. METHOD:This study used quantitative measures from the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) from two population-based cohorts of European ancestry (UK Biobank [N=121,604] and 23andMe [N=20,328]) and performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) meta-analysis. Two additional GWAS analyses were performed, a GWAS for AUDIT scores on items 1-3, which focus on consumption (AUDIT-C), and for scores on items 4-10, which focus on the problematic consequences of drinking (AUDIT-P). RESULTS:The GWAS meta-analysis of AUDIT total score identified 10 associated risk loci. Novel associations localized to genes including JCAD and SLC39A13; this study also replicated previously identified signals in the genes ADH1B, ADH1C, KLB, and GCKR. The dimensions of AUDIT showed positive genetic correlations with alcohol consumption (rg=0.76-0.92) and DSM-IV alcohol dependence (rg=0.33-0.63). AUDIT-P and AUDIT-C scores showed significantly different patterns of association across a number of traits, including psychiatric disorders. AUDIT-P score was significantly positively genetically correlated with schizophrenia (rg=0.22), major depressive disorder (rg=0.26), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (rg=0.23), whereas AUDIT-C score was significantly negatively genetically correlated with major depressive disorder (rg=-0.24) and ADHD (rg=-0.10). This study also used the AUDIT data in the UK Biobank to identify thresholds for dichotomizing AUDIT total score that optimize genetic correlations with DSM-IV alcohol dependence. Coding individuals with AUDIT total scores ?4 as control subjects and those with scores ?12 as case subjects produced a significant high genetic correlation with DSM-IV alcohol dependence (rg=0.82) while retaining most subjects. CONCLUSIONS:AUDIT scores ascertained in population-based cohorts can be used to explore the genetic basis of both alcohol consumption and alcohol use disorders.
Project description:Alcohol consumption has been linked to over 200 diseases and is responsible for over 5% of the global disease burden. Well-known genetic variants in alcohol metabolizing genes, for example, ALDH2 and ADH1B, are strongly associated with alcohol consumption but have limited impact in European populations where they are found at low frequency. We performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of self-reported alcohol consumption in 112 117 individuals in the UK Biobank (UKB) sample of white British individuals. We report significant genome-wide associations at 14 loci. These include single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in alcohol metabolizing genes (ADH1B/ADH1C/ADH5) and two loci in KLB, a gene recently associated with alcohol consumption. We also identify SNPs at novel loci including GCKR, CADM2 and FAM69C. Gene-based analyses found significant associations with genes implicated in the neurobiology of substance use (DRD2, PDE4B). GCTA analyses found a significant SNP-based heritability of self-reported alcohol consumption of 13% (se=0.01). Sex-specific analyses found largely overlapping GWAS loci and the genetic correlation (rG) between male and female alcohol consumption was 0.90 (s.e.=0.09, P-value=7.16 × 10-23). Using LD score regression, genetic overlap was found between alcohol consumption and years of schooling (rG=0.18, s.e.=0.03), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (rG=0.28, s.e.=0.05), smoking (rG=0.40, s.e.=0.06) and various anthropometric traits (for example, overweight, rG=-0.19, s.e.=0.05). This study replicates the association between alcohol consumption and alcohol metabolizing genes and KLB, and identifies novel gene associations that should be the focus of future studies investigating the neurobiology of alcohol consumption.
Project description:We evaluated the efficacy of a brief motivational intervention (MI) counseling in reducing alcohol consumption among persons living with HIV/AIDS in Kampala, Uganda. Persons living with HIV/AIDS with Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Tool (AUDIT) score ?3 points were randomized to either standardized positive prevention counseling alone or in combination with alcohol brief MI counseling. The mean change in AUDIT-C scores over 6 months was compared by treatment arm. The mean (standard deviation [SD]) AUDIT-C scores were 6.3 (2.3) and 6.8 (2.3) for control and MI arms ( P = .1) at baseline, respectively, and change in mean AUDIT-C score was not statistically different between arms over the 6 months ( P = .8). However, there was a statistically significant decrease in mean AUDIT-C score (-1.10; 95% confidence interval: -2.19 to -0.02, P = .046) among women in the MI arm. There was a nondifferential reduction in alcohol consumption overall, but MI appeared effective among women only. Studies with more than 1 counseling session and evaluation of gender differences in treatment response are needed.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption are metrics commonly used to measure alcohol consumption behaviors. Epidemiological studies indicate that these alcohol consumption measures are differentially associated with (mental) health outcomes and socioeconomic status (SES). The current study aims to elucidate to what extent genetic risk factors are shared between frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption, and how these alcohol consumption measures are genetically associated with four broad phenotypic categories: (i) SES; (ii) substance use disorders; (iii) other psychiatric disorders; and (iv) psychological/personality traits. METHODS:Genome-Wide Association analyses were conducted to test genetic associations with alcohol consumption frequency (N = 438 308) and alcohol consumption quantity (N = 307 098 regular alcohol drinkers) within UK Biobank. For the other phenotypes, we used genome-wide association studies summary statistics. Genetic correlations (rg) between the alcohol measures and other phenotypes were estimated using LD score regression. RESULTS:We found a substantial genetic correlation between the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption (rg = 0.52). Nevertheless, both measures consistently showed opposite genetic correlations with SES traits, and many substance use, psychiatric, and psychological/personality traits. High alcohol consumption frequency was genetically associated with high SES and low risk of substance use disorders and other psychiatric disorders, whereas the opposite applies for high alcohol consumption quantity. CONCLUSIONS:Although the frequency and quantity of alcohol consumption show substantial genetic overlap, they consistently show opposite patterns of genetic associations with SES-related phenotypes. Future studies should carefully consider the potential influence of SES on the shared genetic etiology between alcohol and adverse (mental) health outcomes.
Project description:Background:Alcohol dependence (AD) is a common disorder that is influenced by genetic as well as environmental factors. A previous genome-wide association study (GWAS) of the Korean population performed by our research group identified a number of genes, including BRCA1-associated protein (BRAP) and protein arginine methyltransferase 8 (PRMT8), as novel genetic markers of AD. Methods:The present investigation was a fine-mapping follow-up study of 459 AD and 455 non-AD subjects of Korean descent to determine the associations between BRAP and PRMT8 polymorphisms and AD. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) was administered to screen for the degree of AD risk in the subjects and 58 genetic variants, 5 for BRAP and 53 for PRMT8, were genotyped for subsequent association analyses. Results:In the present case-control analysis, BRAP rs3782886 showed the most significant association signal with a risk of AD (P=1.29×10-16, Pcorr =7.74×10-16, OR =0.19). There were also significant differences in the overall and subcategory scores for the BRAP genetic variants, including rs3782886 (P=9.94×10-31, Pcorr =5.96×10-30 at rs3782886 for the overall AUDIT score). However, the genetic effects of PRMT8 polymorphisms observed in our previous GWAS were not replicated in the present study (minimum P=0.0005, Pcorr >0.05, OR =0.30 at rs4766139 in the recessive model). Furthermore, the single-nucleotide polymorphisms of PRMT8 were not associated with the overall and subcategory AUDIT scores. Conclusion:The present findings suggest that the genetic variants of BRAP may contribute to a predisposition for an alcohol use disorder.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Genomewide association studies (GWAS) have begun to identify loci related to alcohol consumption, but little is known about whether this genetic propensity overlaps with specific indices of problem drinking in ascertained samples. METHODS:In 6,731 European Americans who had been exposed to alcohol, we examined whether polygenic risk scores (PRS) from a GWAS of weekly alcohol consumption in the UK Biobank predicted variance in 6 alcohol-related phenotypes: alcohol use, maximum drinks within 24 hours (MAXD), total score on the Self-Rating of the Effects of Ethanol Questionnaire (SRE-T), DSM-IV alcohol dependence (DSM4AD), DSM-5 alcohol use disorder symptom counts (DSM5AUDSX), and reduction/cessation of problematic drinking. We also examined the extent to which an single nucleotide polymorphism (rs1229984) in ADH1B, which is strongly associated with both alcohol consumption and dependence, contributed to the polygenic association with these phenotypes and whether PRS interacted with sex, age, or family history of alcoholism to predict alcohol-related outcomes. We performed mixed-effect regression analyses, with family membership and recruitment site included as random effects, as well as survival modeling of age of onset of DSM4AD. RESULTS:PRS for alcohol consumption significantly predicted variance in 5 of the 6 outcomes: alcohol use (?marginal R2 = 1.39%, ? area under the curve [AUC] = 0.011), DSM4AD (?marginal R2 = 0.56%; ?AUC = 0.003), DSM5AUDSX (?marginal R2 = 0.49%), MAXD (?marginal R2 = 0.31%), and SRE-T (?marginal R2 = 0.22%). PRS were also associated with onset of DSM4AD (hazard ratio = 1.11, p = 2.08e-5). The inclusion of rs1229984 attenuated the effects of the alcohol consumption PRS, particularly for DSM4AD and DSM5AUDSX, but the PRS continued to exert an independent effect for all 5 alcohol measures (?marginal R2 after controlling for ADH1B = 0.14 to 1.22%). Interactions between PRS and sex, age, or family history were nonsignificant. CONCLUSIONS:Genetic propensity for typical alcohol consumption was associated with alcohol use and was also associated with 4 of the additional 5 outcomes, though the variance explained in this sample was modest. Future GWAS that focus on the multifaceted nature of AUD, which goes beyond consumption, might reveal additional information regarding the polygenic underpinnings of problem drinking.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Current medications for alcohol use disorder (AUD) have limited efficacy and utilization. Some clinical trials have shown efficacy for gabapentin among treatment-seeking individuals. The impact of gabapentin on alcohol consumption in a more general sample remains unknown. METHODS:We identified patients prescribed gabapentin for ?180 consecutive days for any clinical indication other than substance use treatment between 2009 and 2015 in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study. We propensity-score matched each gabapentin-exposed patient with up to 5 unexposed patients. Multivariable difference-in-difference (DiD) linear regression models estimated the differential change in Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) scores during follow-up between exposed and unexposed patients, by baseline level of alcohol consumption and daily gabapentin dose. Analyses were stratified by AUD history. Clinically meaningful changes were a priori considered a DiD ?1 point. RESULTS:Among patients with AUD, AUDIT-C scores decreased 0.39 points (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.05, 0.73) more among exposed than unexposed patients (p < 0.03). Potentially clinically meaningful differences were observed among those with AUD and exposed to ?1,500 mg/d (DiD 0.77, 95% CI 0.15, 1.38, p < 0.02). No statistically significant effects were found among patients with AUD at doses lower than 1,500 mg/d or baseline AUDIT-C ?4. Among patients without AUD, we found no overall difference in changes in AUDIT-C scores, nor in analyses stratified by baseline level of alcohol consumption. CONCLUSIONS:Patients exposed to doses of gabapentin consistent with those used in clinical trials, particularly those with AUD, experienced a greater decrease in AUDIT-C scores than matched unexposed patients.
Project description:BACKGROUND:HIV infected (HIV+) individuals may be more susceptible to alcohol-related harm than uninfected individuals. METHODS:We analyzed data on HIV+ and uninfected individuals in the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) with an Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption AUDIT-C score from 2008 to 2012. We used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the association between alcohol exposure and mortality through July, 2014; and linear regression models to assess the association between alcohol exposure and physiologic injury based on VACS Index Scores. Models were adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, smoking, and hepatitis C infection. RESULTS:The sample included 18,145 HIV+ and 42,228 uninfected individuals. Among HIV+ individuals, 76% had undetectable HIV-1 RNA (<500 copies/ml). The threshold for an association of alcohol use with mortality and physiologic injury differed by HIV status. Among HIV+ individuals, AUDIT-C score ?4 (hazard ratio [HR] 1.25, 95% CI 1.09-1.44) and ?30 drinks per month (HR, 1.30, 95% CI 1.14-1.50) were associated with increased risk of mortality. Among uninfected individuals, AUDIT-C score ?5 (HR, 1.19, 95% CI 1.07-1.32) and ?70 drinks per month (HR 1.13, 95% CI 1.00-1.28) were associated with increased risk. Similarly, AUDIT-C threshold scores of 5-7 were associated with physiologic injury among HIV+ individuals (beta 0.47, 95% CI 0.22, 0.73) and a score of 8 or more was associated with injury in uninfected (beta 0.29, 95% CI 0.16, 0.42) individuals. CONCLUSIONS:Despite antiretroviral therapy, HIV+ individuals experienced increased mortality and physiologic injury at lower levels of alcohol use compared with uninfected individuals. Alcohol consumption limits should be lower among HIV+ individuals.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Recently, an alcohol predictor was developed using DNA methylation at 144 CpG sites (DNAm-Alc) as a biomarker for improved clinical or epidemiologic assessment of alcohol-related ill health. We validate the performance and characterise the drivers of this DNAm-Alc for the first time in independent populations. RESULTS:In N = 1049 parents from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) Accessible Resource for Integrated Epigenomic Studies (ARIES) at midlife, we found DNAm-Alc explained 7.6% of the variation in alcohol intake, roughly half of what had been reported previously, and interestingly explained a larger 9.8% of Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) score, a scale of alcohol use disorder. Explanatory capacity in participants from the offspring generation of ARIES measured during adolescence was much lower. However, DNAm-Alc explained 14.3% of the variation in replication using the Head and Neck 5000 (HN5000) clinical cohort that had higher average alcohol consumption. To investigate whether this relationship was being driven by genetic and/or earlier environment confounding, we examined how earlier versus concurrent DNAm-Alc measures predicted AUDIT scores. In both ARIES parental and offspring generations, we observed associations between AUDIT and concurrent, but not earlier DNAm-Alc, suggesting independence from genetic and stable environmental contributions. CONCLUSIONS:The stronger relationship between DNAm-Alcs and AUDIT in parents at midlife compared to adolescents despite similar levels of consumption suggests that DNAm-Alc likely reflects long-term patterns of alcohol abuse. Such biomarkers may have potential applications for biomonitoring and risk prediction, especially in cases where reporting bias is a concern.
Project description:Alcohol consumption level and alcohol use disorder (AUD) diagnosis are moderately heritable traits. We conduct genome-wide association studies of these traits using longitudinal Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test-Consumption (AUDIT-C) scores and AUD diagnoses in a multi-ancestry Million Veteran Program sample (N?=?274,424). We identify 18 genome-wide significant loci: 5 associated with both traits, 8 associated with AUDIT-C only, and 5 associated with AUD diagnosis only. Polygenic Risk Scores (PRS) for both traits are associated with alcohol-related disorders in two independent samples. Although a significant genetic correlation reflects the overlap between the traits, genetic correlations for 188 non-alcohol-related traits differ significantly for the two traits, as do the phenotypes associated with the traits' PRS. Cell type group partitioning heritability enrichment analyses also differentiate the two traits. We conclude that, although heavy drinking is a key risk factor for AUD, it is not a sufficient cause of the disorder.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Since 2010 the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended screening adults for excessive alcohol consumption to try and help prevent alcohol-use disorders. Little is known about the extent to which these recommendations are followed, and the resulting completeness and validity of alcohol-related data recording in primary care. OBJECTIVE:To investigate the completeness and accuracy of recording of alcohol use within primary care records in the UK. DESIGN AND SETTING:Cross-sectional study in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. PARTICIPANTS:We included all adult patients registered on 1st January 2018 with ?1 year of follow-up. PRIMARY AND SECONDARY OUTCOME MEASURES:We calculated prevalence of alcohol consumption recording overall and within patient groups. We then validated alcohol consumption data against recommended screening tools (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT)) as the gold standard. We also calculated how prevalence of alcohol recording changed over the preceding decade. RESULTS:In 2018, among 1.8 million registered adult patients, just over half (51.9%) had a record for a code related to alcohol in the previous 5 years. Recording of alcohol consumption was more common among women, older people, ex-smokers and those from more deprived areas, who were overweight/obese, or with comorbidities. A quarter of patients had units per week recorded in the last 5 years, but <10% had an AUDIT or Fast Alcohol Screening Test (FAST) alcohol screening test score. The recorded alcohol measures corresponded to results from gold standard AUDIT scores. The distribution of consumption among current drinkers was similar to the Health Survey for England. CONCLUSIONS:Half of adults in UK primary care have no recorded alcohol consumption data. When consumption is recorded, we have demonstrated internal and external validity of the data, suggesting greater recording may help identify opportunities for interventions to reduce harms.