Some people get hangovers after a night of drinking, while others don’t, and the reason may be in their genes, a new study of twins in Australia suggests. Researchers looked for links between the study participants’ genetic makeups and the number of hangovers the individuals reported experiencing in the past year. The results showed that genetic factors accounted for 45 percent of the difference in hangover frequency in women and 40 percent in men. In other words, genetics accounts for nearly half of the reason why one person experiences a hangover and another person doesn’t, after drinking the same amount of alcohol.
We have demonstrated that susceptibility to hangovers has a genetic underpinning. This may be another clue to the genetics of alcoholism.
Wendy Slutske, study leader and a psychology professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia
The researchers also found that the people who had the gene variants involved in an increased risk of having hangovers also drank to the point of being intoxicated more frequently than people who didn’t have the hangover genes. People who are less susceptible to having a hangover might have a greater risk for alcohol addiction, the researchers said. They found a strong correlation between identical twins in reports of hangover frequency as well as hangover resistance, suggesting that the genetic similarities of some twins played a part in their hangover susceptibility.