People with This Eye Color Have a Higher Risk of Alcohol Dependence

A new study from the University of Vermont suggested that people with light-colored eyes have higher risk for becoming dependent on alcohol.

The geneticists have found that alcohol dependency occurs more frequently among individuals with light-colorerd eyes specifically blue eyes. On the other hand, it happened less frequently among those with dark brown eyes. For the study, the geneticists filtered the database for patients with European ancestry and dependence on alcohol.

blue eyes

In the study, the geneticists found that alcohol dependence was more prevalent among those with light-colored eyes including blue, green and gray-colored eyes compared to those with dark brown eyes within a sample of 1,263 European-Americans. Variables such as age, sex and ancestry served as controlled variables in the study.

The data revealed that people with blue eyes were more likely to have genes linked with alcohol dependence.

“We found evidence of linkage disequilibrium between an AD-associated GABA receptor gene cluster, GABRB3/GABRG3, and eye color genes, OCA2/HERC2, as well as between AD-associated GRM5 and pigmentation-associated TYR. Our population-phenotype, network, and linkage disequilibrium analyses support association between blue eye color and AD,” the study suggested.

Speaking to Huffington Post, the study’s co-author Dawei Li revealed that they are planning to replicate the results of the study. According to Li, if future studies will still show a link, the researchers will try to find out whether the link is driven by genetics or cultural factors.

A previous research has shown a link between blue eye color and specific health conditions.

In the past, geneticists have established that individuals of Asian descent have lower alcohol tolerance compared to individuals with European ancestry. According to them, people with Asian descent have an atypical version of the enzyme responsible for alcohol metabolism.

Share this: