Common variants at 12q24 are associated with drinking behavior in Han Chinese1-3

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Alcohol consumption is heritable, but genetic susceptibility to drinking behavior has not been investigated widely in genome-wide association studies.


We aimed to identify susceptibility loci for drinking behavior (drinkers compared with nondrinkers) in Han Chinese.


We performed 2 genome-wide association studies including 1420 drinkers and 3590 nondrinkers in discovery, followed by a de novo replication analysis comprising 4896 drinkers and 13,293 nondrinkers. DNA samples of the subjects were collected for genotyping.


The association results of drinking behavior (drinkers or nondrinkers) showed a cluster of single nucleotide polymorphisms at 12q24 in discovery (P < 5 × 10-8), with the strongest association for rs11066280 near C12orf51 (P-combined = 3.26 × 10-215). Moreover, we observed the association with drinking behavior for a functional variant in ALDH2 at 12q24 (rs671, P-discovery = 5.17 × 10-35). We also identified the association between rs11066280 and daily alcohol intake among drinkers (P-combined = 4.01 × 10-21).


Our data indicate that common variants at 12q24 may contribute to the susceptibility of drinking behavior in Han Chinese.

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