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Polymorphism in ALDH2-genotype in Japanese men and the alcohol-blood pressure relationship

American Journal of Hypertension
Oxford University Press
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0895-7061(95)00222-b
  • Aldh2-Genotype
  • Alcohol
  • Serum γ-Glutamyl Transpeptide
  • Blood Pressure
  • Dose-Response Relationship
  • Japanese Subjects
  • Biology


Aldehyde dehydrogenase with a low Michaelis constant (K m), ALDH2, is a major enzyme involved in the conversion of acetaldehyde, a toxic metabolite of ethanol, into acetic acid in the liver. Inherited deficiency of ALDH2 activity is found in half of Japanese, and is characterized by “Oriental flushing” after alcohol consumption. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the influence of the genetic polymorphism in alcohol metabolism on the sensitivity to the pressor effect of alcohol. Genotypes of ALDH2 were determined in 403 middle-aged Japanese men using genomic DNA extracted from white blood cells. Two hundred and forty-three (60%) of the subjects were shown to be homozygotes for the normal ALDH2 gene, 25 (6%) of the subjects were homozygotes for the mutant ALDH2 gene, and the remaining 135 (33%) were heterozygotes. None of the homozygotes for the mutant gene drank enough to show the pressor effect of alcohol. Elevations of blood pressure associated with increasing alcohol consumption or with elevations of serum γ-glutamyl transpeptide (GTP) level were not different between the other two ALDH2-genotypes. It can be concluded that polymorphism in the ALDH2-genotype found in Japanese men does not affect the individual sensitivity to the pressor effect of alcohol.

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