Page last updated: Wednesday, January 07, 2009
New test identifies heavy drinkers
A new screening test for excessive alcohol consumption identifies twice as many heavy drinkers as the commonly used liver enzyme test, according to a presentation released at the annual meeting of the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC). The Early Detection of Alcohol Consumption (EDAC) test determines the likelihood of heavy drinking in the previous four to six weeks.

The test holds promise as a new screening tool for physicians to identify problem drinkers.

The EDAC test uses an algorithm that includes 20 blood chemistry levels. A patient’s test results are compared with data from more than 1700 heavy and light drinkers in a database. Heavy drinkers in the database reported more than five drinks per day for men and more than four drinks per day for women.

Dr. Harasymiw said that because EDAC is based on routine blood values, the test allows physicians to intervene with patients in a more objective, less judgemental manner.

“Physicians can show patients the tests results to help convince them that their drinking is causing serious damage to their organs and other biologic systems,” said Dr.Harasymiw.

Source: Measuring Performance of the Early Detection of Alcohol Consumption (EDAC) Test in Traffic Medicine and Primary Care AACC’s Annual Meeting is July 27-31 at the Washington Convention Centre.

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