The concept that alcoholism may be inherited has been suggested on the basis of twin and adoption studies and the further evidence that alcoholism is commonly seen in several members of a family. Genetic marker studies that have been conducted among alcoholics have often yielded seemingly contradictory results. Thus far, genetic marker studies involving HLA antigens have not been used in the study of alcoholism. In the current study, we identified and performed HLA typing in 52 alcoholics to determine whether a significant difference existed between the frequency of HLA-A and HLA-B locus antigens in an alcoholic population and that in a control population consisting of 1,704 nonalcoholic blood donors. In this study, we could not demonstrate a difference in the occurrence of these antigens between the two populations.
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