Alcohol dependence linked with lighter eye colour

A study of more than 1,200 people shows blue eyes are most strongly linked with alcohol dependence problems

06 Jul 2015 by Ryan O'Hare

A US study suggests that people with blue eyes may be more likely to struggle with alcohol dependency than people with darker eye colour.

When researchers looked at 1,263 Caucasians with alcohol dependency problems, they found light eye colour was associated strongly with dependency, when compared to brown eyes.

While previous research has indicated that genetics plays a role in determining predisposition to substances, the study is reported to be the first to make a direct connection between eye colour and alcohol dependence.

In the study population, people with lighter coloured eyes – including green and grey – had a higher incidence of alcohol dependency, but the strongest tendency was in those with blue eyes.

The group say that they still don’t know the reason for the link and that more research is needed.

Lead author, Arvis Sulovari of the University of Vermont, said: “This suggests an intriguing possibility – that eye colour can be useful in the clinic for alcohol dependence diagnosis.”

The research is published in the American journal of medical genetics.

Image credit: Look into my eyes

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