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October 6, 1993

Alcoholism and the D2 Dopamine Receptor Gene

JAMA. 1993;270(13):1547. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510130053027

To the Editor.  —Gelernter et al1 reviewed studies of the D2 dopamine receptor locus (DRD2) Al allelic association with alcoholism. They claim no association exists. In response to this assertion, we have reanalyzed the data they have presented and carefully addressed the issues pointed out by Gelernter et al and other analyses relevant to this association. We find the following:

  1. 1. In analyzing the data in Table 1 of Gelernter et al, Al frequency is 0.19 (n=307) in unscreened controls vs 0.11 (n=186) in screened (alcoholics excluded) controls. A significant difference is found between these two controls (κ2,5.17; P=.02). It is important that association studies of alcoholics use controls carefully screened for alcoholism for comparison.

  2. 2. When the data on alcoholics (severe and not severe) are compared with the screened controls presented in Table 1 by Gelernter et al, Al frequency is 0.19 (n=502) in the alcoholics