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Genetics Implicated in Disordered Gambling in Women

Last Updated: June 07, 2010.

Genetic factors contribute to the etiology of disordered gambling among women, as they do among men, and susceptibility genes that contribute to variation in liability for disordered gambling probably greatly overlap between the two sexes, according to a study in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

MONDAY, June 7 (HealthDay News) -- Genetic factors contribute to the etiology of disordered gambling (DG) among women, as they do among men, and susceptibility genes that contribute to variation in liability for DG probably greatly overlap between the two sexes, according to a study in the June issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Wendy S. Slutske, Ph.D., of the University of Missouri—Columbia, and colleagues evaluated 4,764 adults from 2,889 twin pairs aged 32 to 43 years (57 percent of female gender) to determine the role of genetic and environmental risk factors in the development of DG among women, and to evaluate how the extent of DG risk among women differs from the risk among men.

The researchers estimated that the proportion of variation in liability for DG as a result of genetic influences was 49.2 percent, with shared environmental influences not contributing to variation. In addition, they found no evidence that quantitative and qualitative gender differences had any role in causing variation in DG liability.

"Despite limitations, this study represents a major step forward in that it establishes for the first time that genes are as important in the etiology of DG in women as they are in men," the authors write. "In addition to similar relative contributions of genetic versus environmental factors to variation in liability for DG, the results suggest that the susceptibility genes contributing to variation in liability for DG may also overlap considerably in men and women."

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