New study points to link between blue eyes, alcoholism

Are blue-eyed people more likely to consume large amounts of alcohol? One study says yes.
Are blue-eyed people more likely to consume large amounts of alcohol? One study says yes. File/Global News

New research out of the United States is pointing to a connection between blue eyes and alcoholism.

According to the new study, people with blue eyes have a higher tendency to abuse alcohol than people with darker eyes.

The University of Vermont study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics found a correlation between European American people with light-coloured eyes like blue, green, grey and light brown – have a higher tendency of alcoholism, with the highest levels of alcoholism found among subjects who had blue eyes.

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It seems simple and Dawei Li, an assistant professor at the school, and one of the study’s authors, admitted that “we still don’t know the reason” why the light colours are associated with heavy drinking.

But the results do suggest “an intriguing possibility,” he said in a press release.

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Li’s co-author Arvis Sulovari said it does suggest “an intriguing possibility – that eye colour can be useful in the clinic for alcohol dependence diagnosis.”

The study’s results were borne out of a database of more than 10,000 people who had been diagnosed with at least one form of psychiatric illness, including depression, and schizophrenia, as well as drug and alcohol addiction.

From that database, the study’s authors filtered out 1,263 alcohol-dependent people and retested three times after noticing the connection to eye colour.

It’s not the first time scientists have looked at the eye’s association with alcohol. A 2000 study also noted that people with lighter eyes are “more likely than dark-eyed individuals to abuse alcohol.”

That study suggested the higher consumption was linked with greater alcohol tolerance among people with light eyes.

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