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Alcohol Use Thresholds for Identifying Alcohol-related Problems Before and Following Roux-en-Y Gastric Bypass.

Ann Surg. 2018 Oct 11;:

Authors: White GE, Courcoulas AP, Richardson GA, Mair C, King WC

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to determine the sensitivity and specificity of potential thresholds of alcohol use for identifying alcohol-related problems in women post-Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB).
BACKGROUND: Despite evidence that RYGB alters alcohol pharmacokinetics and is associated with an increased risk for alcohol-related problems, the level of alcohol use that should prompt further screening for alcohol-related problems following RYGB is unclear.
METHODS: The Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery-2 is a prospective cohort study. Before surgery and annually for ≤7 years following surgery, participants completed the 10-item Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), which assesses past-year frequency and quantity of alcohol, frequency of consuming ≥6 drinks, and alcohol-related problems (ie, symptoms of alcohol dependence and/or alcohol-related harm). The AUDIT-Consumption (AUDIT-C) score was determined from the first 3 AUDIT items.
RESULTS: Post-RYGB, 835 women reported current drinking at 1 or more annual assessment(s). Compared with higher frequency thresholds, drinking ≥2 times/month had the highest combined sensitivity (85.3%) and specificity (61.4%) for identifying alcohol-related problems. Compared with higher quantity thresholds, drinking ≥3 drinks/drinking day had the highest combined sensitivity (64.2%) and specificity (87.2%). An AUDIT-C score ≥3, versus other thresholds, had the highest combined sensitivity (76.4%) and specificity (81.6%).
CONCLUSION: The sensitivity and specificity of these thresholds indicate assessment of alcohol consumption alone may be inadequate for identifying women at risk for alcohol-related problems post-RYGB. Additional screening tools for alcohol-related problems, which assess symptoms of alcohol-related problems, should be conducted in this population.

PMID: 30312202 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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