Distribution characteristics and combined effect of polymorphisms affecting alcohol consumption behaviour in the hungarian general and roma populations

Judit Diószegi, Szilvia Fiatal, R. Tóth, Ágota Moravcsik-Kornyicki, Zsigmond Kósa, J. Sándor, Martin McKee, R. Ádány

Research output: Article

5 Citations (Scopus)


Aims: Harmful alcohol drinking habits, even among Roma children and adolescents, are more common than in the majority population. The aim of the study was to evaluate the genetic susceptibility of Roma to hazardous alcohol consumption compared to the Hungarian general population. Methods: A total of 1273 samples from the population of segregated Hungarian Roma colonies and 2967 samples from the Hungarian general population were genotyped for 25 polymorphisms. Differences in genotype and allele distributions were investigated. Genetic risk scores (GRS) were generated to estimate the joint effect of individual single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). After unweighted and weighted GRS were calculated the distribution of scores in study populations was compared. Results: The allele frequencies differed significantly between the study populations for 17 SNPs (P < 0.002), but the genetic alterations that predispose to or protect against harmful alcohol consumption were not overrepresented in the Roma population. The distribution of unweighted GRS in Roma population was left shifted compared to general population (P= 0.0013). The median weighted genetic risk score was lower among the subjects of Roma population compared to the subjects of general population (0.53 vs 0.65, P= 3.33 x 10-27) even after adjustment for confounding factors. Conclusions: Differences in alcohol consumption habits between the Hungarian Roma and Hungarian general populations do not appear to be linked to genetic constitution, this behaviour may occur as a result of different cultural values and environmental exposures. Population-based measures to tackle the fundamental drivers of consumption, which take account of cultural acceptability, are needed to reduce harmful alcohol consumption in the Roma population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-111
Number of pages8
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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