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Advisor: A Crawford, School of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA


Alcohol dependence or alcoholism is a serious public health issue. According to the CDC, alcoholism is responsible for nearly 88,000 deaths every year in the U.S.

In order to create and optimize prevention programs for alcohol dependence, it is important to understand factors that may increase the underlying risk and amplify its associated comorbidities. One such risk factor for alcoholism is a family history (FH) of alcoholism with the heritability estimates ranging from 50 to 60%. Alcoholism has been linked to higher numbers of psychosocial problems, low motivation to quit and disturbed sleep. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the role of a first-degree FH of alcohol dependence as a moderating factor on alcohol consumption, psychosocial problems, the subject’s motivation for change, and their habitual sleep duration. The study involved a secondary data analysis of baseline data obtained from an alcohol treatment interventional study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The results demonstrated that a FH+ status was associated with a higher number of drinking days, as compared to FH- subjects. Interestingly, a first-degree family history of alcohol dependence was inversely associated with a lower proportion of days of heavy drinking (OR=0.30, p=0.04), number of drinks per drinking day, (OR=0.93, p=0.009), and sleep duration (OR=0.81, p=0.03). Lower proportion days of heavy drinking (PDHD) and lower sleep duration predicted a higher probability of having a first-degree family history of any other substance abuse disorder. In conclusion, a positive family history status was associated with a sustained higher number of total drinking days and lower number of drinks per drinking days.

Presentation: 22 minutes