Family drinking history predicts how much alcohol people consume if burdened, a study finds. People whose parents had a drinking problem are more likely to reach for the bottle when they're under stress.
Swedish researchers divided 58 healthy people into two groups, based on whether they had a family history of alcohol abuse. Both groups were placed in a stressful situation (solving math problems under timed conditions in public) and then allowed to drink.
People who had at least one parent with a drinking problem drank more than others after being put under stress, University of Gothenburg researchers found.
The study was published in the Journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behaviour.
Previous research has shown that children of alcoholics have a 50% increased risk of developing a drinking problem. These new findings shed light on this association, the researchers said.
"If alcohol relaxes you when you're stressed, then you should try to find other ways of calming yourself down – relaxation exercises, for example," study author Anna Soderpalm Gordh said in a university news release.
(HealthDay, October 2011)