This work was supported by a grant from the Summa Health System Foundation, Summa Health System (Akron, OH).
Evaluation of Acetaldehyde-Modified Hemoglobin and Other Markers of Chronic Heavy Alcohol Use: Effects of Gender and Hemoglobin Concentration
Version of Record online: 30 MAY 2006
Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume 22, Issue 8, pages 1813–1819, November 1998
How to Cite
Hazelett, S. E., Liebelt, R. A., Brown, W. J., Androulakakis, V., Jarjoura, D. and Truitt, E. B. (1998), Evaluation of Acetaldehyde-Modified Hemoglobin and Other Markers of Chronic Heavy Alcohol Use: Effects of Gender and Hemoglobin Concentration. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 22: 1813–1819. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.1998.tb03986.x
- Issue online: 30 MAY 2006
- Version of Record online: 30 MAY 2006
- Received for publication October 10, 1997; accepted June 29, 1998
The present study examined whether measurement of hemoglobin-acetaldehyde (HbA1-AcH) using an improved methodology may be useful as a biological marker of alcohol abuse. Red blood cell hemolysates of 182 patients consecutively admitted to the drug and alcohol treatment unit of our institution were analyzed for HbA1-AcH concentration using cation exchange HPLC. Mean HbA1-AcH of those who claimed to drink ≥6 drinks/day [mean = 0.055 (% total hemoglobin), SD = 0.051] was significantly higher than the mean of those who drank < 6 drinks/day (mean = 0.026, SD = 0.0174). The greatest sum of sensitivity (67%) and specificity (77%) came with a cut-score of 0.030 area% of total hemoglobin. A cut-score of 0.080 produced a 100% specificity, but lowered the sensitivity to 20%. The Pearson product moment correlation (r) between HbA1-AcH and reported drinks per day was r= 0.30 (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in the association of HbA1-AcH and reported drinking between males and females, and the small difference observed was shown to be entirely associated with differences in hemoglobin levels between the sexes. Cocaine use did not significantly alter the correlation between reported drinking and HbAl-AcH levels. Hemoglobin levels were shown to have a significant correlation with HbA1-AcH independent of drinking. HbA1-AcH was shown to have a better sensitivity and specificity than γ-glutamyltransferase, ALT, AST, or mean corpuscular volume in this population. The results suggest that HbA1-AcH may be a useful marker to help detect alcohol abuse, especially in populations where other markers have been shown to fail.