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Long-Term Stability and Heritability of Telephone Interview Measures of Alcohol Consumption and Dependence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 February 2012

Narelle K. Hansell*
Affiliation:
Genetic Epidemiology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia. Narelle.Hansell@qimr.edu.au
Arpana Agrawal
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, United States of America.
John B. Whitfield
Affiliation:
Genetic Epidemiology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.
Katherine I. Morley
Affiliation:
Centre for Molecular, Environmental, Genetic and Analytic Epidemiology, School of Population Health and Applied Genetics Unit, ORYGEN Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne, Australia.
Gu Zhu
Affiliation:
Genetic Epidemiology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.
Penelope A. Lind
Affiliation:
Genetic Epidemiology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.
Michele L. Pergadia
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, United States of America.
Pamela A. F. Madden
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, United States of America.
Richard D. Todd
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, United States of America.
Andrew C. Heath
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Washington University, United States of America.
Nicholas G. Martin
Affiliation:
Genetic Epidemiology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Brisbane, Australia.
*
*Address for correspondence: Narelle K. Hansell, Genetic Epidemiology, Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Post Office, Royal Brisbane Hospital, Queensland, Australia 4029.

Abstract

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Alcohol dependence symptoms and consumption measures were examined for stability and heritability. Data were collected from 12,045 individuals (5376 twin pairs, 1293 single twins) aged 19 to 90 years in telephone interviews conducted in three collection phases. Phases 1 and 2 were independent samples, but Phase 3 targeted families of smokers and drinkers from the Phase 1 and 2 samples. The stability of dependence symptoms and consumption was examined for 1158 individuals interviewed in both Phases 1 and 3 (mean interval = 11.0 years). For 1818 individuals interviewed in Phases 2 and 3 (mean interval = 5.5 years) the stability of consumption was examined. Heritability was examined for each collection phase and retest samples from the selected Phase 3 collection. The measures examined were a dependence score, based on DSM-IIIR and DSM-IV criteria for substance dependence, and a quantity × frequency measure. Measures were moderately stable, with test–retest correlations ranging from .58 to .61 for dependence and from .55 to .64 for consumption. However, the pattern of changes over time for dependence suggested that the measure may more strongly reflect recent than lifetime experience. Similar to previous findings, heritabilities ranged from .42 to .51 for dependence and from .31 to .51 for consumption. Consumption was significantly less heritable in the younger Phase 2 cohort (23–39 years) compared to the older Phase 1 cohort (28–90 years).

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008