Social and age-related aspects of informativeness of indirect laboratory markers of alcohol consumption

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Aim. To compare the diagnostic capabilities of indirect laboratory markers of alcohol consumption - alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase and carbohydrate-deficient transferrin, depending on the social status and age group of the subjects.

Methods. The activity of enzymes were assessed in the blood serum of socially adapted young subjects (18-25 years, 201 people) and adults (35-50 years, 121 people) by standard biochemical methods, and the level of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin was determined by capillary electrophoresis. With the use of questionnaires, the subjects were tested for alcohol abuse. Non-parametric criteria of statistical significance were used to evaluate the difference.

Results. No differences in the activity of enzymes associated with the level of alcohol consumption were found in the youth group (p = 0.911 for alanine aminotransferase, p = 0.669 for aspartate aminotransferase, p = 0.303 for gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase). Activity of gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase was significantly higher in adult group of alcohol abuse (p = 0.021), but individual values of enzyme activity of some subjects from this group fit into the population reference interval. Differences in the level of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin in the youth group, associated with the volume and frequency of alcohol consumption, were not revealed (p = 0.348), and all individual values were within the reference interval. In the adult group, values of this parameter were higher in high-dose alcohol drinkers (p = 0.019) but the diagnostic threshold of alcohol abuse was reached only in 2 subjects.

Conclusion. Indirect laboratory markers do not have sufficient diagnostic significance for screening of alcohol abuse among socially adapted young people and adults. Informativeness of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin may be sufficient if the diagnostic threshold corresponding to a definite social and age group replaces the standard population-established concentration limit.

D G Novikov

Omsk State Medical University

Author for correspondence.
Omsk, Russia

A V Indutnyy

Omsk State Medical University

Omsk, Russia

N L Samuseva

Omsk State Medical University

Omsk, Russia

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© 2018 Novikov D.G., Indutnyy A.V., Samuseva N.L.

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