Correlation of Type, Quantity, and Duration of Alcohol Consumption With Biochemical Markers and Liver Function Tests

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Objective: To study the correlation of type, quantity, and duration of alcohol consumption with biochemical markers and liver function tests.

Methods: The study included 103 patients with a history of alcohol use presenting to the psychiatry department of a hospital in India from March 1, 2017, to February 28, 2018. A self-administered structured questionnaire was used to assess demographics and clinical characteristics. Biochemical markers and laboratory tests included hemoglobin, total leukocyte count, mean corpuscular volume, liver function, and lipid profile. Liver ultrasonography was also conducted. Patients completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test to assess excessive alcohol use.

Results: Of the patients, 17.5% had a hemoglobin level < 12 g/dL. The mean total leukocyte count was 7.292 per cu mm, and a significant (P = .05) correlation was observed with duration of alcohol consumption; 26% had a mean corpuscular volume > 100 fL. One-third (33%) of the patients had total bilirubin values > 1 mg/dL. The majority (81.6%) had a γ-glutamyl transferase level > 47 U/L, and 19.4% had a serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase/pyruvic transaminase ratio > 2. Liver size was increased in 71% of the patients.

Conclusion: There was a significant correlation (P = .05) between type and quantity of alcohol and liver function tests, signifying poor quality of alcohol (ie, many patients drank “local spirit” alcohol, which is liquor made in the countryside of the Indian subcontinent) and that higher alcohol consumption caused more damage to the liver. The positive correlation between duration and lipid derangement signifies that longer duration of alcohol consumption leads to more lipid profile abnormalities, which in turn causes liver injury. Early detection of liver injury with these investigations, keeping in mind the quantity, type, and duration of alcohol consumption, will help in primary and secondary prevention of alcohol-induced disorders.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2020;22(3):19m02439