Alcohol Alcohol. 42: 24-27.
ETHNICITY AND GAMMA-GLUTAMYLTRANSFERASE IN MEN AND WOMEN WITH ALCOHOL USE DISORDERS
1 Department of Medicine, School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences NY 14260, USA
2 Research Institute on Addictions, University at Buffalo, State University of New York NY 14260, USA
3 Department of Biostatistics, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, State University of New York NY 14260, USA
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Received 2 March 2006; in revised form 13 June 2006; in revised form 28 August 2006; accepted 12 October 2006
Aims: This study evaluated the associations of gender and ethnicity with GGT in a large sample of patients with DSM-IV alcohol abuse or dependence, as well as modification of alcohol's effects on GGT by gender and ethnicity.
Methods: Subjects included 1691 African American, Mexican American, and non-Hispanic white individuals with DSM-IV alcohol dependence or abuse who participated in an alcoholism treatment trial. Detailed information on alcohol use was collected and GGT measured at baseline and at 3, 9, and 15 months post-baseline.
Results: Changes in GGT occurring with changes in alcohol consumption were similar regardless of ethnicity. Although alcohol-associated changes were similar in these ethnic groups, African Americans had the highest average GGT at any given level of alcohol use. This ethnic pattern held for both sexes, with females having lower levels within each ethnic group. Drinking frequency had a slightly decreased association with GGT in females relative to males, but this effect was clinically unimportant.
Conclusions: Gender and ethnic-specific cutoffs may be useful when screening for chronic heavy drinking, but the absolute increase in GGT occurring with relapse will be similar regardless of gender or ethnicity.