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Role of high normal gamma-glutamyltransferase level in identifying heavy alcohol use in young men.
The objective of the current study was to determine the predictive value of high normal gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) level as an indication of heavy drinking in young men. In a sample of 577 men attending a one-day army recruitment process mandatory for all Swiss men at age 19 years, GGT level was evaluated as the dependent variable for each of eight dichotomous classifications of individuals on the basis of meeting cut-off criteria for five indexes of alcohol use, two indexes of alcohol-related problems, and one index of body mass. The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of GGT level in identifying subjects as either heavy drinkers or being overweight were determined. Compared with findings for their counterparts, GGT level was higher in subjects reporting consumption of more than 14 drinks per week (20.5 +/- 7.81 vs. 18.9 +/- 7.60, P <.05), in those reporting being drunk at least once during the past 30 days (20.3 +/- 7.80 vs. 18.3 +/- 7.43, P <.001), and in individuals with body mass indexes >or=25 kg/m(2) (25.8 +/- 10.84 vs. 18.3 +/- 6.59, P <.001). At a GGT level cut-off of 20 U/l, the sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of either being a heavy drinker or overweight were 48.2%, 70.2%, 67.7%, and 51.2%, respectively. Exclusion of subjects with body mass indexes of >or=25 kg/m(2) revealed similar results. High normal GGT level in young men is indicative of heavy alcohol use or being overweight; when present, subjects should be screened further for potential concomitant drinking problems.
Adult, Age Factors, Alcohol Drinking, Alcoholic Intoxication, Body Mass Index, Body Weight, Humans, Male, gamma-Glutamyltransferase
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