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School and Program Updates

School and Program Updates

East Tennessee Authors Article in the Journal of Psychiatric Research

Dr. Daniel Owusu, 2016 alumnus of the doctoral program in epidemiology within the ETSU College of Public Health, has authored an article in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.  Dr. Kesheng Wang, associate professor in the department of biostatistics and epidemiology, is a co-author along with Drs. Yue Pan, Changchun Xie, and Sam Harirforoosh.  The article, “Polymorphisms in PDLIM5 gene are associated with alcohol dependence, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension,” discusses genetic variants associated with alcohol dependence, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.

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[Photo: Dr. Daniel Owusu (Left) and Dr. Kesheng Wang]

According to the article, alcohol consumption is reported to be the third leading cause of poor health globally. Approximately 6 percent (3.3 million) of all global deaths and 5.1 percent of the global burden of disease and injury were attributed to alcohol consumption in 2012. Studies have implicated genetic and environmental factors and their interactions as significant contributory factors to the development of alcohol dependence, a chronic disorder linked to excessive and compulsive drinking.

Diabetes is also an important global health concern. Diabetes is believed to have caused 1.5 million deaths in adults over 18 years old in 2012 and 9 percent of the global adult population were believed to be living with diabetes in 2014. The World Health Organization has projected that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death globally by 2030.

Alcohol consumption has been strongly linked to the risk of diabetes in several studies and excessive alcohol consumption or binge drinking may increase the risk of diabetes.

The researchers evaluated the role of the gene PDLIM5 in alcohol dependence, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. To their knowledge, no study has previously examined this relationship. This study used one sample with 1,066 alcohol dependent cases and 1,278 non-alcohol dependent controls and another sample with 878 type 2 diabetes cases and 2686 non-diabetes as well as 825 hypertension cases and 2,739 non-hypertension. The authors indicate the study provides the first evidence of shared genetic variants in PDLIM5 gene in those at risk for alcohol dependence, type 2 diabetes and hypertension. The findings suggest that joint intervention for treatment of alcohol dependent, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension may be beneficial.

Founded in 1961 to report on the latest work in psychiatry and cognate disciplines, the Journal of Psychiatric Research is dedicated to innovative and timely psychiatric studies such as clinical studies that relate to human behavior as well psychiatric illness, including genetics, biochemical, environmental and epidemiological factors.