Study Code:SY
Sample:206 twin pairs
Start Date:Jan.1990
Contact:David Smyth
More Info:QIMR only


Sydney is a follow up on the Alcohol Challenge pairs. All 206 pairs were then followed up in a gradual process, 10-12 years after the Alcohol Challenge study, to estimate the importance of genetic factors in alcohol metabolism and psychomotor sensitivity.

Large genetic components of variation in both alcohol metabolism and psychomotor sensitivity to alcohol were detected. At the time of the original Alcohol Challenge study, molecular genetic techniques for genotyping were not readily available and no material was collected from twins from which DNA could be recovered. We have collected samples from 362 of the 412 original subjects and these are being typed for polymorphisms in the alcohol and aldehyde dehydrogenase loci which may explain some of the genetic variation in alcohol metabolism we detected by quantitative genetic estimation. The ADH2*1/2 polymorphism has a significant but minor effect on variation in alcohol metabolism. However, sib-pair linkage analysis suggests that other variants in the class I ADH region on chromosome 4 account for at least half the genetic variation in ethanol metabolism.

The study involved a questionnaire, blood sample for blood biochemistry tests, basic physiological information and a body sway measurement for a small subset of subjects. The body sway data may be unreliable as the body sway machine was damaged some time prior to the study commencing.

The questionnaire asked questions about:

  • You and your twin
  • Your lifestyle and health
  • Drinking habits
  • Drinking problems