Couples that have similar drinking habits are more likely to stay together, a study on more than 40,000 couples has revealed.
Researchers said that this could be down to a gene that significantly influences how much people drink and how it affects us.
Heavy drinkers are more likely to pair up with those who regularly drink alcohol while light-drinkers are attracted to those who have similar habits.
Every person in these couples was found to be more likely to share a certain variant of a gene linked with light or heavy alcohol consumption.
Scientists from the University of Bristol analyzed the genetic data of more than 40,000 couples in the UK Biobank. They observed each person’s reported alcohol consumption and compared with individuals carrying a gene variant called ADH1B.
Another variant of the gene is also linked to whether people experience severe side effects of alcoholic beverages, with heavier drinkers less likely to have hangovers.
A Ph.D. student at the University of Bristol, Laurence Howe, told the ‘New Scientist’ that studies on the connection between partner choice and alcohol use have relied on self-reported data.
“We wanted to disentangle the possibilities using a genetic approach.
“This suggests that alcohol consumption directly influences mate choice, adding to the growing evidence that humans are more likely to select a similar mate.”
The results of the study also claim that a partner’s drinking can have an effect on how much the other person drinks.
Researchers found that every extra unit that a partner drinks each week corresponded to a 0.26 increase in their wife or husband’s drinking.
Even though the connection is interesting, experts pointed out those variants of ADH1B are also linked to other factors that could influence our choice when looking for a partner.
That includes heavier drinking variant being connected to having a poorer background.
To find out more, the results of the study were published in the journal bioRxiv.
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