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Positive personality traits moderate persistent high alcohol consumption, determined by polygenic risk in U.S. military veterans: results from a 10-year, population-based, observational cohort study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  29 August 2023

Peter Na*
Affiliation:
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Hang Zhou
Affiliation:
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Janitza L. Montalvo-Ortiz
Affiliation:
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Brenda Cabrera-Mendoza
Affiliation:
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Ismene L. Petrakis
Affiliation:
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA National Center for PTSD, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA
John H. Krystal
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA National Center for PTSD, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA
Renato Polimanti
Affiliation:
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Joel Gelernter
Affiliation:
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA
Robert H. Pietrzak
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA National Center for PTSD, VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT, USA Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT, USA
*
Corresponding author: Peter Na; Email: peter.na@yale.edu

Abstract

Background

Understanding the interplay between psychosocial factors and polygenic risk scores (PRS) may help elucidate the biopsychosocial etiology of high alcohol consumption (HAC). This study examined the psychosocial moderators of HAC, determined by polygenic risk in a 10-year longitudinal study of US military veterans. We hypothesized that positive psychosocial traits (e.g. social support, personality traits, optimism, gratitude) may buffer risk of HAC in veterans with greater polygenic liability for alcohol consumption (AC).

Methods

Data were analyzed from 1323 European-American US veterans who participated in the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study, a 10-year, nationally representative longitudinal study of US military veterans. PRS reflecting genome-wide risk for AC (AUDIT-C) was derived from a Million Veteran Program genome-wide association study (N = 200 680).

Results

Among the total sample, 328 (weighted 24.8%) had persistent HAC, 131 (weighted 9.9%) had new-onset HAC, 44 (weighted 3.3%) had remitted HAC, and 820 (weighted 62.0%) had no/low AC over the 10-year study period. AUDIT-C PRS was positively associated with persistent HAC relative to no/low AC [relative risk ratio (RRR) = 1.43, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.23–1.67] and remitted HAC (RRR = 1.63, 95% CI = 1.07–2.50). Among veterans with higher AUDIT-C PRS, greater baseline levels of agreeableness and greater dispositional gratitude were inversely associated with persistent HAC.

Conclusions

AUDIT-C PRS was prospectively associated with persistent HAC over a 10-year period, and agreeableness and dispositional gratitude moderated this association. Clinical interventions designed to target these modifiable psychological traits may help mitigate risk of persistent HAC in veterans with greater polygenic liability for persistent HAC.

Type
Original Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press

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