A twin study of non-alcohol substance abuse

Lynn M. Gynther, Gregory Carey, Irving I Gottesman, George P. Vogler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Except for alcohol abuse, little is known about the familial aggregation for substance abuse. Here we report twin resemblance for non-alcohol substance use in the Washington University Twin Series, wherein probands were identified by consecutive admission to psychiatric facilities in the St. Louis area. A 5-point substance abuse scale was constructed with values anchored by never used drugs (1) to drug dependence (5). Year of birth was the most powerful predictor of drug use - younger twins scored far higher than older twins. Either heritability or common environment had to be included in the regression model to avoid a significant drop in explained variance, but which was more important could not be resolved. The correlation for identical twins exceeded that for fraternal twins, suggesting the possibility of a heritable factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Volume56
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 28 1995

Keywords

  • Age
  • Drug dependence
  • Genetics
  • Race
  • Sex

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