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PhD project: Familial transmission of alcohol use disorder

Alcohol use disorder tend to aggregate in families. Results from a series of twin, adoption and family studies have consistently shown that having one or more parents with alcohol use disorder is a strong risk factor for developing alcohol use disorder. Despite extensive scientific literature on familiar transmission of alcohol use disorder, little is known about factors of importance for familiar transmission of alcohol dependence. No single "alcohol gene" has been identified, and it is likely that variations and interactions between selected genes and environmental factors affect the increased risk of high alcohol intake and the development of alcohol use disorder.


The purpose of this PhD project is to investigate the risk of developing alcohol use disorder among individuals with parental alcohol use disorder. A number of factors such as other psychiatric morbidity and suicide for the association will be examined. In addition, it is the purpose to examine the overall health status of people with alcohol use disorder compared with a randomly selected population from the general Danish population.


The project is a register-based study based on data from the Danish clinical WinAlko database. The database contains information about approximately 30,000 individuals who received alcohol treatment at outpatient clinics in one of the municipalities of Copenhagen and Frederiksberg, in the period 1954 to 2009. The information is linked to a number of national registers (The Danish National Patient Register, The Danish National Prescription Registry, The Danish Psychiatric Central Research Register, The Danish Cause of Death Registry, The Danish Civil Registration System, The National Registry of Alcohol Treatment). Together, this information constitutes a comprehensive research database that will constitute the basis for the statistical analyzes.

Project period

2015-2018. Results will be published continuously.


This study was supported by a grant from The Danish Council for Strategic Research.

Last Updated 19.03.2019