Different Characteristics and Heritabilities of Alcohol Use Disorder Classes: A Population-Based Swedish Study

E. C. Long, H. Ohlsson, J. Sundquist, K. Sundquist, K. S. Kendler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Aims: The aims of the present study are to identify alcohol use disorder (AUD) classes among a population-based Swedish sample, determine if these classes differ by variables known to be associated with AUD and determine whether some AUD classes have stronger genetic influences than others. Methods: A latent class analysis (LCA), based on types of registrations, was conducted on Swedish individuals with an AUD registration born between 1960 and 1990 (N = 184,770). These classes were then validated using demographics; patterns of comorbidity with drug abuse, psychiatric disorders and criminal behavior; and neighborhood-level factors, i.e. peer AUD and neighborhood deprivation. The degree of genetic and environmental influence was also investigated. Results: The best-fit LCA had four classes: (a) outpatient/prescription, characterized by a mix of outpatient medical and prescription registrations, (b) low-frequency inpatient, characterized entirely by inpatient medical registrations, with the majority of individuals having one AUD registration, (c) high-frequency mixed, characterized by a mix of all four registration types, with the majority having four or more registrations and (d) crime, characterized almost entirely by criminal registrations. The highest heritability for both males and females was found for Class 3 (61% and 65%, respectively) and the lowest for Class 1 (20% for both), with shared environmental influences accounting for 10% or less of the variance in all Classes. Conclusions: Using comprehensive, nationwide registry data, we showed evidence for four distinct, meaningful classes of AUD with varying degrees of heritability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-655
Number of pages9
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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