"The LR to alcohol is a genetically influenced phenotype, or measurable characteristic, that contributes toward the development of alcoholism," said Marc A. Schuckit, director of the Alcohol Research Center, Veterans Affairs San Diego Healthcare System, professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, and first author of the study. "The earlier you study it, the better. We tested people with alcohol challenges to look at their LR at the youngest possible age they could give informed consent as the picture is clearest when they're youngest. When people get older, they get fatter, they change their percent body water, which changes their reaction per drink, their liver gets a little slower in metabolizing alcohol, their brain gets a little more sensitive to alcohol, and when they get sick, they take medications, all of which affects their LR to alcohol."
Furthermore, added Victor Hesselbrock, professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, "young individuals, particularly teenagers and young adults, feel that being able to 'hold one's liquor' is a good thing. Yet we in the scientific and clinical community know that high rates of consumption at any age lead to poorer outcomes, both in terms of psychosocial as well as medical functioning. While some individuals might say 'I'm not an alcoholic' or 'I'm not one of those down and out alcoholics,'