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Scientists identify alcohol damage gene

Published:  23 July, 2008

Researchers have discovered a gene that makes some people more prone to alcohol damage than others.

The gene, Cyp2E1, increases a person's risk of liver cirrhosis by four times if carried.

According to Professor Ian Gilmore, president of the Royal College of Physicians and liver specialist at Liverpool University, it will be possible to identify some people as more at risk based on their genetics in a decade.

"In ten years we may be able to look at individual gene fingerprints and predict what a person's risk is of alochol-related diseases."

Gilmore added that alcohol guidelines were so difficult to draw up because "there is a huge variation in the effects of alcohol on individuals".