The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), a part of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), has identified five distinct subtypes of alcoholism by analysing a national sample of individuals suffering from alcohol dependence.
Our findings should help dispel the popular notion of the typical alcoholic, notes first author Dr. Howard B. Moss, NIAAA Associate Director for Clinical and Translational Research.
We find that young adults comprise the largest group of alcoholics in this country, and nearly 20 per cent of alcoholics are highly functional and well-educated with good incomes. More than half of the alcoholics in the United States have no multigenerational family history of the disease, suggesting that their form of alcoholism was unlikely to have genetic causes, he adds.
NIAAA Director Dr. Ting-Kai Li says that the study, published online in the Journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, was an attempt by the researchers to understand why some alcoholics improve with specific medications and psychotherapies, while others do not.
Clinicians have long recognized diverse manifestations of alcoholism, and researchers have tried to understand why some alcoholics improve with specific medications and psychotherapies while others do not. The classification system described in this study will have broad application in both clinical and research settings, Dr. Li says.
The researchers say that the five alcoholism subtypes identified were Young Adult subtype (31.5 per cent of U.S. alcoholics), Young Antisocial subtype (21 per cent), Functional subtype (19.5 per cent), Intermediate Familial subtype (19 per cent), and Chronic Severe subtype (9 per cent).
They gathered information about individuals with alcoholism by conducting the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC), a nationally representative epidemiological study of alcohol, drugPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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