University of Oulu

Ulla Nivukoski, Aini Bloigu, Risto Bloigu, Mauri Aalto, Tiina Laatikainen, Onni Niemelä, Liver enzymes in alcohol consumers with or without binge drinking, Alcohol, Volume 78, 2019, Pages 13-19, ISSN 0741-8329,

Liver enzymes in alcohol consumers with or without binge drinking

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Author: Nivukoski, Ulla1; Bloigu, Aini2; Bloigu, Risto2;
Organizations: 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Research Unit, Seinäjoki Central Hospital and Tampere University, 60220, Seinäjoki, Finland
2Medical Informatics and Statistics Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Psychiatry, Seinäjoki Central Hospital and Tampere University, Tampere, Finland
4Department of Public Health Solutions, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Helsinki, Finland
5Institute of Public Health and Clinical Nutrition, University of Eastern Finland, Kuopio, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2019
Publish Date: 2020-03-16


Background: While alcohol use is linked with a wide variety of health problems, the question of whether differences in drinking patterns could yield different outcomes has remained unclear.

Patients and methods: We measured liver enzymes (ALT, GGT) from alcohol consumers with or without binge drinking from a population-based sample in Finland, where binge-type drinking is common. Data on alcohol use, diet, body weight, lifestyle (smoking, coffee consumption, physical activity), and health status were collected from 19225 subjects (9492 men, 9733 women), aged 25–74 years. The participants were subsequently classified to subgroups, both according to the frequencies of binge drinking and the amounts of regular alcohol intake (low-, medium-, and high-risk drinking).

Results: The quantity of regular alcohol use was roughly linearly related with GGT and ALT activities. ANOVA analyses of the trends according to the frequency of binge drinking showed a significant GGT increase in both men (p < 0.0005) and women (p < 0.0005), and a significant increase of ALT in men (p < 0.0005). In those with low-risk overall consumption, markedly higher GGT (p < 0.0005) and ALT (p < 0.0005) occurred in those with binge drinking more than once a month, compared with those with no such occasions. Binge drinking occurring ≤1/month also resulted in higher GGT (p < 0.0005) and ALT (p < 0.05) activities.

Conclusions: These results emphasize possible adverse consequences of binge drinking on hepatic function even in those with low-risk overall consumption. The pattern of drinking should be more systematically implicated in clinical recommendations for drinking reduction.

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Series: Alcohol
ISSN: 0741-8329
ISSN-E: 1873-6823
ISSN-L: 0741-8329
Volume: 78
Pages: 13 - 19
DOI: 10.1016/j.alcohol.2019.03.001
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This work was supported in part by Competitive State Research Financing of the Expert Responsibility area of Seinäjoki Central Hospital and University of Tampere, VTR 5300/3116, and by the Finnish Foundation for the Promotion of Laboratory Medicine.
Copyright information: © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license