Here’s To Your Eyes

eye-800766_1280While pouring the next round for your friends, you may want to consider going a little light for the blue-eyed imbibers. According to a new research report, those with lighter eye colors face increased odds of alcoholism compared to individuals with dark-brown eyes.

In a recent story on, writer Agata Blasczcak-Boxe notes that a study was made of 1,263 Americans of European descent consisting of a blend of 992 diagnosed with alcohol dependence and 271 participants not diagnosed.

“They found that the rate of alcohol dependence was 54 percent higher among people with light-colored eyes—including blue, green, gray and light brown eyes—than among those with dark brown eyes.”

The study, led by Arvis Sulovari at the University of Vermont was featured in the American Journal of Medical Genetics: Neuropsychiatric Genetics (Part B), and, according to

“The study outlines the genetic components that determine eye color and shows that they line up along the same chromosome as the genes related to excessive alcohol use.”

While the findings are fascinating, Sulovari and his advisor at the University of Vermont, Dawei Li, note in an interview with April Burbank at the Burlington Free Press that it may be premature to stop serving cocktails to those with light eyes.

“The connection between eye color and an alcohol dependence diagnosis is ‘preliminary,’ Li said. They’re not about to suggest that clinicians begin screening people for eye color, as much more research is needed.”

Sulovari added: “There is a lot to be untangled here and we may have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg—and we hope there is an iceberg here.”

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