Test Characteristics of Carbohydrate-Deficient Transferrin and γ-Glutamyltransferase in Alcohol-Using Perimenopausal Women

Authors

  • Johannes van Pelt,

    Corresponding author
    1. KCHL, Hospitals Noord-Limburg Venlo/Venray, The Netherlands (J.v.P.); Diagnostic Centre Eindhoven, The Netherlands (G.L.L., J.J.K); and the Department of Municipal Health Services Eindhoven, The Netherlands (P.v.N.).
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  • Geraline L. Leusink,

    1. KCHL, Hospitals Noord-Limburg Venlo/Venray, The Netherlands (J.v.P.); Diagnostic Centre Eindhoven, The Netherlands (G.L.L., J.J.K); and the Department of Municipal Health Services Eindhoven, The Netherlands (P.v.N.).
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  • Peter W.M. van Nierop,

    1. KCHL, Hospitals Noord-Limburg Venlo/Venray, The Netherlands (J.v.P.); Diagnostic Centre Eindhoven, The Netherlands (G.L.L., J.J.K); and the Department of Municipal Health Services Eindhoven, The Netherlands (P.v.N.).
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  • Jules J. Keyzer

    1. KCHL, Hospitals Noord-Limburg Venlo/Venray, The Netherlands (J.v.P.); Diagnostic Centre Eindhoven, The Netherlands (G.L.L., J.J.K); and the Department of Municipal Health Services Eindhoven, The Netherlands (P.v.N.).
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Reprint requests: J. van Pelt, Ph.D., KCHL, Hospitals Noord-Limburg, PO Box 1926, 5900 BX VENLO, The Netherlands; Fax: 3177-3205216; E-mail: jvpelt@sznl.nl

Abstract

Background:

The application of biochemical markers to detect heavy alcohol use in women has shown disappointing results until now. We evaluated carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) by the CDTcct® method and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) in a large cohort of alcohol-using perimenopausal women studied primarily for osteoporosis.

Methods:

CDT and GGT were measured in 431 women aged 46 to 54 years, who were selected from a large cohort (n= 8503) of pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal women. Their alcohol intake was known from questionnaires and face-to-face interviews. Three groups were constructed for statistical analysis: those drinking on average less than 7 alcoholic drinks per week (n= 103), those drinking 7 to 34 per week (n= 280), and those drinking at least 35 per week (n= 48).

Results:

The mean values of CDT and GGT of the three groups increased with an increasing alcohol intake, but there was a poor correlation between CDT and GGT in the complete study group (r= 0.3). The specificities of CDT and GGT were comparable, 83% and 78%, respectively. The sensitivities for CDT and GGT were 30% and 50%, respectively. A logistic regression model could assign, overall, 77% of the women correctly in relation to their alcohol intake: 43% of the women drinking at least 35 drinks per week and 92% of the women drinking less than 7 drinks per week.

Conclusions:

The test characteristics of both GGT and CDT are not good enough to be used as biochemical markers for detecting heavy alcohol use in women. The use of a logistic regression model offers an advantage, because both numeric values of CDT and GGT are taken into account instead of arbitrary cutoff values.

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