Are you doing Dry Jan? Well, you might want to after a study has found those with blue eyes may be more likely to become an alcoholic.
I don’t have blue eyes, but I might start Dry Jan this year to save my liver and equally fragile bank balance and because if your eyes are a light colour – blue, green, grey or with brown in the middle – you may also run the risk of alcohol dependency.
University of Vermont found a genetic link between genes that carry eye colour and genes associated with alcoholism, which means if you can’t bring yourself to wind in the booze for your own sake, won’t somebody please think of the scientists.
The genetic profiles of 1,263 European-Americans were studied for the paper published in the American Journal of Medical Genetics.
The study found those with lighter coloured eyes had higher incidences of alcohol dependency than those with brown eyes.
Lead researcher Arvis Sulovari said in a statement:
This suggests an intriguing possibility — eye color can be useful in the clinic for alcohol dependence diagnosis.
Dawei Li, co-leader of the research told the Huffington Post the next step for researchers is to determine whether the link discovered by their research is strictly due to genetics or whether cultural factors play a role.
It’s not just young people either, Addaction says ‘alcohol misuse is the biggest risk factor for death, ill-health and disability among 15-49 year-olds in the UK, and the fifth biggest risk factor across all ages’.
In 2014-15 there were an estimated 1.1 million hospital admissions in the UK where the primary or secondary reason for admitting was alcohol-related. Alcohol is a casual factor in more than 60 health conditions.
This costs the NHS an astonishing £3.5 billion annually and in the UK, alcohol-related crime is estimated to cost between £8 billion and £13 billion per year.
Piling pressure onto our nation, alcohol is a massive problem thousands of people in Britain are facing and it often starts at a young age.
Public Health England says 59,382 men and 33,176 women aged 18-24 are alcohol dependent, which is a number equivalent to the population of Worcester.
Scott Haines, who heads the Amy Winehouse Resilience Programme for Addaction, told UNILAD:
I think peer pressure can relate not just to someone being offered or forced to take something, but is just as much about the pressures young people can feel to fit in with their peer groups and perhaps to be part of a crowd.
To add to that I would say drug or alcohol use can often be a way in which many people seek to cope with a range of problems and stresses.
As such, young people might be particularly vulnerable to harmful drug or alcohol use if they have issues with low self esteem or things going on either at home or in school.
If you would like more information or want to talk to someone about concerns you have, you can contact Addaction to chat to a professional.
Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.