The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) has been widely used to identify alcohol use disorder (AUD). This study evaluated the validity of the AUDIT-Korean revised version (AUDIT-KR) for screening AUD according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5) criteria.
This research was conducted with 443 subjects who visited the Chungnam National University Hospital for a comprehensive medical examination. All subjects completed the demographic questionnaire and AUDIT-KR without assistance. Subjects were divided into two groups according to DSM-5 criteria: an AUD group, which included patients that fit the criteria for AUD (120 males and 21 females), and a non-AUD group, which included 146 males and 156 females that did not meet AUD criteria. The appropriate cut-off values, sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the AUDIT-KR were evaluated.
The mean±standard deviation AUDIT-KR scores were 10.32±7.48 points in males and 3.23±4.42 points in females. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (95% confidence interval, CI) of the AUDIT-KR for identifying AUD was 0.884 (0.840–0.920) in males and 0.962 (0.923–0.985) in females. The optimal cut-off value of the AUDIT-KR was 10 points for males (sensitivity, 81.90%; specificity, 81.33%; positive predictive value, 77.2%; negative predictive value, 85.3%) and 5 points for females (sensitivity, 100.00%; specificity, 88.54%; positive predictive value, 52.6%; negative predictive value, 100.0%).
The AUDIT-KR has high reliability and validity for identifying AUD according to DSM-5 criteria.
Alcohol Drinking; Surveys and Questionnaires; Drinking; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition
This research investigated the sensitivity and specificity of heavy and binge drinking for screening of alcohol use disorder.
This retrospective study was conducted with 976 adults who visited the Sun Health Screening Center for health screenings in 2015. Daily drinking amount, drinking frequency per week, and weekly drinking amount were investigated. Using criteria from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, participants were classified as normal drinkers, heavy drinkers, or binge drinkers, and grouped by age and sex. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), and negative predictive value (NPV) of heavy and binge drinking were compared for the diagnosis of alcohol abuse and alcohol dependence using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 4th edition-text revision and alcohol use disorder using the DSM 5th edition.
The sensitivity of heavy and binge drinking for the diagnosis of alcohol abuse, alcohol dependence, and alcohol use disorder were 51.7%, 43.8%, and 35.3%, and 69.0%, 62.5%, and 48.2%, respectively. The specificity of these were 90.1%, 91.7%, and 95.5%, and 84.3%, 86.8%, and 91.2%, respectively. The PPV of these were 24.8%, 40.5%, and 72.7%, and 21.7%, 38.0%, and 65.2%, respectively. The NPV of these were 96.7%, 92.6%, and 81.2%, and 97.8%, 94.7%, and 83.7%, respectively.
Heavy and binge drinking did not show enough diagnostic power to screen DSM alcohol use disorder although they did show high specificity and NPV.
Alcohol; Alcoholism; Binge Drinking; Sensitivity and Specificity
Although adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for resected gallbladder cancer may improve survival for some patients, identifying which patients will benefit remains challenging because of the rarity of this disease. The specific aim of this study was to create a decision aid to help make individualized estimates of the potential survival benefit of adjuvant chemoradiotherapy for patients with resected gallbladder cancer.
Patients with resected gallbladder cancer were selected from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) –Medicare database who were diagnosed between 1995 and 2005. Covariates included age, race, sex, stage, and receipt of adjuvant chemotherapy or chemoradiotherapy (CRT). Propensity score weighting was used to balance covariates between treated and untreated groups. Several types of multivariate survival regression models were constructed and compared, including Cox proportional hazards, Weibull, exponential, log-logistic, and lognormal models. Model performance was compared using the Akaike information criterion. The primary end point was overall survival with or without adjuvant chemotherapy or CRT.
A total of 1,137 patients met the inclusion criteria for the study. The lognormal survival model showed the best performance. A Web browser–based nomogram was built from this model to make individualized estimates of survival. The model predicts that certain subsets of patients with at least T2 or N1 disease will gain a survival benefit from adjuvant CRT, and the magnitude of benefit for an individual patient can vary.
A nomogram built from a parametric survival model from the SEER-Medicare database can be used as a decision aid to predict which gallbladder patients may benefit from adjuvant CRT.
Patients' insight has a critical role in the recovery from problematic behavior. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a brief intervention to promote insight among alcohol-dependent patients. A total of 41 alcohol-dependent patients (30 males, 11 females) in an insight-deficient state who had been admitted to a community-based alcohol treatment center, were randomized into two groups based on their admission order: an intervention group (IG) (n = 20) and a control group (CG) (n = 21). Patients in both the IG and CG participated in an identical treatment program with one exception: patients in the IG were required to undergo five sessions of brief individual intervention focusing on insight enhancement. Changes in insight state were assessed after the intervention. The IG exhibited significant (P < 0.05) changes in the distribution of insight level, while the CG did not exhibit any significant changes in the distribution of insight level. The insight score after intervention was significantly (P < 0.05) greater for the IG than the CG with adjustment for the baseline characteristics. The results suggest that a brief individual intervention focused on insight enhancement may be an effective tool to improve insight among alcohol-dependent patients.
Insight; Brief Intervention; Alcohol Dependence; Individual Counseling; Patient Education
This study aimed to develop a simple tool for identifying alcohol use disorders in female Korean drinkers from previous questionnaires.
This research was conducted on 400 women who consumed at least one alcoholic drink during the past month and visited the health promotion center at Chungnam National University Hospital between June 2013 to May 2014. Drinking habits and alcohol use disorders were assessed by structured interviews using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition diagnostic criteria. The subjects were also asked to answer the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), AUDIT-Consumption, CAGE (Cut down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-opener), TWEAK (Tolerance, Worried, Eye-opener, Amnesia, Kut down), TACE (Tolerance, Annoyed, Cut down, Eye-opener), and NET (Normal drinker, Eye-opener, Tolerance) questionnaires. The area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) of each question of the questionnaires on alcohol use disorders was assessed. After combining two questions with the largest AUROC, it was compared to other previous questionnaires.
Among the 400 subjects, 58 (14.5%) were identified as having an alcohol use disorder. Two questions with the largest AUROC were question no. 7 in AUDIT, "How often during the last year have you had a feeling of guilt or remorse after drinking?" and question no. 5 in AUDIT, "How often during the past year have you failed to do what was normally expected from you because of drinking?" with an AUROC (95% confidence interval [CI]) of 0.886 (0.850–0.915) and 0.862 (0.824–0.894), respectively. The AUROC (95% CI) of the combination of the two questions was 0.958 (0.934–0.976) with no significant difference as compared to the existing AUDIT with the largest AUROC.
The above results suggest that the simple tool consisting of questions no. 5 and no. 7 in AUDIT is useful in identifying alcohol use disorders in Korean female drinkers.
Alcohol Drinking; Female; Surveys and Questionnaires
This study investigated whether there is any difference in drinking amount associated with abnormal expression of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), one of the biological markers of excessive drinking, between flushing and non-flushing women after drinking
The subjects were 797 women aged 20–59 years old who visited health promotion center of Chungnam National University Hospital between January, 2013 and July, 2014. Facial flushing status after drinking, amount of alcohol consumed per drinking episode, and the number of drinking days per week were assessed using a questionnaire. Age, abnormal GGT expression, smoking status, menopauase status, and body mass index (BMI) were obtained from the health screening data. The weekly drinking amount were categorized into <4 drinks; ≥4, <8 drinks; and ≥8 drinks. The association of abnormal GGT expression with weekly drinking amount was analyzed using multivariate logistic regression after controlling for confounding variables including age, smoking status, menopauase status, and BMI.
Compared to nondrinkers, the abnormal GGT expression in the non-flushing group was significantly increased when the weekly drinking amount was ≥4 drinks (≥4, <8 drinks: adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 37.568; 95% confidence interval [CI], 9.793–144.116; ≥8 drinks: aOR, 20.350; 95% CI, 20.350–305.138). On the other hand, the abnormal GGT expression in the flushing group was significantly increased in every weekly drinking amount range (<4 drinks: aOR, 4.120; 95% CI, 1.603–10.585; ≥4, <8 drinks: aOR, 79.206; 95% CI, 24.034–261.031; ≥8 drinks: aOR, 111.342; 95% CI, 30.987–400.079). For each weekly drinking amount range, the flushing group showed significantly higher abnormal GGT expression than the non-flushing group (<4 drinks: aOR, 3.867; 95% CI, 1.786–8.374; ≥4, <8 drinks: aOR, 57.277; 95% CI, 24.430–134.285; ≥8 drinks: aOR, 104.871; 95% CI, 42.945–256.091).
This study showed that abnormal GGT expression in the flushing female drinkers was induced by smaller amounts of alcohol than in the non-flushing female drinkers.
Flushing; Drinking; Gamma-Glutamyltransferase
The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between cardiovascular disease risk and alcohol consumption according to facial flushing after drinking among Korean men.
The subjects were 1,817 Korean men (non-drinker group, 283 men; drinking-related facial flushing group, 662 men; non-flushing group, 872 men) >30 years who had undergone comprehensive health examinations at the health promotion center of a Chungnam National University Hospital between 2007 and 2009. Alcohol consumption and alcohol-related facial flushing were assessed through a questionnaire. Cardiovascular disease risk was investigated based on the 2008 Framingham Heart Study. With the non-drinker group as reference, logistic regression was used to analyze the relationship between weekly alcohol intake and cardiovascular disease risk within 10 years for the flushing and non-flushing groups, with adjustment for confounding factors such as body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and exercise patterns.
Individuals in the non-flushing group with alcohol consumption of ≤4 standard drinks (1 standard drink = 14 g of alcohol) per week had significantly lower moderate or high cardiovascular disease risk than individuals in the nondrinker group (adjusted odds ratio, 0.51; 95% confidence interval, 0.37 to 0.71). However, no significant relationship between the drinking amount and cardiovascular disease risk was observed in the flushing group.
Cardiovascular disease risk is likely lowered by alcohol consumption among non-flushers, and the relationship between the drinking amount and cardiovascular disease risk may differ according to facial flushing after drinking, representing an individual's vulnerability.
Alcohol; Flushing; Cardiovascular Diseases; Risk
The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between diabetes and depressive symptoms among Korean women.
We performed an analysis of data for 6,572 women aged 30 or over obtained from the Fifth Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted in 2010 to 2011. We examined the presence of depressive symptoms and the treatment of depression according to diabetes status.
The presence of depressive symptoms was observed in 22.6% of subjects with diabetes. In the multiple logistic regression model, diabetes was associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms (odds ratio [OR], 1.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.20 to 1.21) but the treatment of depression among diabetics was less common (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.54 to 0.55). Uncontrolled diabetes (glycosylated hemoglobin ≥ 7%) was associated with an increased risk of depressive symptoms (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.69 to 1.73) among diabetics.
Physicians should manage individuals with diabetes in consideration of the presence of depressive symptoms, especially in those with uncontrolled diabetes.
Diabetes Mellitus; Depression; Women
There needs to be an amendment to the Korean version of the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) with regards to the recent change in percent alcohol by volume (ABV) Korean liquor. This study was performed to suggest a cutoff value, reliability and validity of AUDIT-Korean revised version (AUDIT-KR), which reflect the change of the ABV of Korean alcohol.
The subjects were 435 peoples (210 males and 225 females), who visited the Chungnam National University Hospital for a comprehensive medical examination. The respondents completed the AUDIT-KR. At-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders had been evaluated by diagnostic interview. The Cronbach's alpha value, the receiver operating characteristic curve, the appropriate cutoff value, sensitivity and specificity of the AUDIT-KR were evaluated.
There were 190 at-risk drinkers (111 males and 79 females), and 66 people with alcohol use disorders (48 males and 18 females). The cutoff value of the AUDIT-KR for at-risk drinking was 3 points (sensitivity 93.69% and specificity 78.79%) for males and 3 points (sensitivity 92.40% and specificity 78.08%) for females. The cutoff value for alcohol use disorders was 10 points (sensitivity 100.00% and specificity 89.51%) for males and 8 points (sensitivity 100.00% and specificity 93.71%) for females. Cronbach's alpha of the AUDIT-KR was 0.885.
The above results suggest that the AUDIT-KR shows a high reliability and validity in identifying at-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders.
Alcohols; Questionnaires; Drinking
It has been reported that children with parental drinking problems are at increased risk of drinking problems or psychiatric diseases in adulthood. The present study was conducted to examine the psychiatric characteristics of high school students according to paternal drinking problems.
The subjects were 950 high school students (390 male and 560 female). The paternal drinking problems were assessed by using the Father-Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test, Beck's depression inventory, and Beck's anxiety inventory were used to evaluate the drinking behavior, depression, and anxiety of high school students.
While male students with paternal drinking problems showed significantly increased risk of anxiety (odds ratio [OR], 2.21; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 4.63), female students with paternal drinking problems showed significantly increased risk of depression (OR, 1.84; 95% CI, 1.24 to 2.74) according to the results of logistic regression analysis with adjustments for participants' age, whether they live together with parents, their religion, club activities, and smoking habits on the basis of students without paternal drinking problems.
The above results suggest that paternal drinking problems lead to unstable mentalities in both male and female students, and that a family physician should address the mental state of teenagers with paternal drinking problems during clinical encounters.
Fathers; Students; Alcohol; Depression; Anxiety
This study examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and hyperhomocysteinemia based on facial flushing caused by drinking.
Among male patients aged ≥ 18 years who visited Health Promotion Center of Chungnam National University Hospital in Daejeon from January 2008 to December 2010, 948 males (182 nondrinkers, 348 subjects with drinking-related facial flushing, and 418 subjects without drinking-related facial flushing) were selected. After adjusting for confounding factors such as age, body mass index, hypertension, diabetes, smoking, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, a multiple logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the risk of hyperhomocysteinemia in the nonfacial flushing and facial flushing groups compared with the nondrinkers.
After adjusting for confounding factors, risk of hyperhomocysteinemia was significantly lower in the group with a weekly alcohol consumption of < 8 standard drinks (1 drink = 14 g alcohol) in the nonfacial flushing group (<4 drinks: odds ratio [OR], 0.27; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.10 to 0.74; 4≤, <8 drinks: OR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.06 to 0.73). Risk of hyperhomocysteinemia was significantly lower in the group with a weekly alcohol consumption < 4 drinks in the facial flushing group (OR, 0.30; 95% CI, 0.13 to 0.68).
Our results suggest that the risk of hyperhomocysteinemia is likely lowered by alcohol consumption based on drinking quantity, as lowering the risk of hyperhomocysteinemia differs depending on vulnerability associated with facial flushing.
Homocysteine; Flushing; Alcohol Drinking
This study evaluated the utility of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test Alcohol Consumption Questions (AUDIT-C) in screening at-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders among Korean college students.
For the 387 students who visited Chungnam National University student health center, drinking state and alcohol use disorders were assessed through diagnostic interviews. In addition, Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), AUDIT-C, and cut down, annoyed, guilty, eye-opener (CAGE) were applied. The utility of the questionnaires for the interview results were compared.
The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROCs) of AUDIT-C for screening at-risk drinking were 0.927 in the male and 0.921 in the female participants. The AUROCs of AUDIT and CAGE were 0.906 and 0.643, respectively, in the male, and 0.898 and 0.657, respectively, in the female participants. The optimal screening scores of at-risk drinking in AUDIT-C were ≥6 in the male and ≥4 in the female participants; and in AUDIT and CAGE, ≥8 and ≥1, respectively, in the male, and ≥5 and ≥1 in the female participants. The AUROCs of AUDIT-C in screening alcohol use disorders were 0.902 in the male and 0.939 in the female participants. In the AUDIT and CAGE, the AUROCs were 0.936 and 0.712, respectively, in the male, and 0.960 and 0.844, respectively, in the female participants. The optimal screening scores of alcohol use disorders in AUDIT-C were ≥7 in the male and ≥6 in the female participants; and in AUDIT and CAGE, ≥10 and ≥1, respectively, in the male, and ≥8 and ≥1 in the female participants.
AUDIT-C is considered useful in screening at-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders among college students.
Universities; Students; Alcohol; Mass Screening
Abdominal aortic calcification (AAC) is a marker of subclinical atherosclerotic disease and an independent predictor of subsequent vascular morbidity and mortality. This study was conducted to investigate the association of AAC with lifestyle and risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
The results of the abdominal computed tomography of 380 patients who visited Chungnam National University Hospital for a health checkup from January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2009 were reviewed. A six-point scale was used in grading the overall severity of the calcification in three areas of the abdominal aorta, including the area superior to the renal artery, the upper-half area inferior to the renal artery, and the lower-half area inferior to the renal artery, in addition to the common iliac artery. The association of the AAC severity with the age, lifestyle factors, and risk factors of cardiovascular disease was analyzed via multiple linear regression analysis.
In the male subjects, the age, presence of dyslipidemia and smoking were positively related to AAC, but exercising was negatively related to AAC (total R2 = 0.563). In the female subjects, the age and presence of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia were positively related to AAC, but exercising was negatively related to AAC (total R2 = 0.547).
AAC was related to both the male and female subjects' age, presence of dyslipidemia, and exercising, to smoking in the male subjects and to the presence of diabetes mellitus and hypertension in the female subjects.
Aorta; Calcification; Atherosclerosis; Life Style
This research investigated the association between facial flushing after drinking and alcohol-induced biomarker abnormalities.
This retrospective study included 374 male drinkers who visited the department of Family Medicine of Chungnam National University Hospital between January and December of 2010. The participants were classified into two groups: the flushing group (n = 107) and the non-flushing group (n = 267). The biomarkers assessed were % carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) and gamma glutamyl transferase (rGTP). The upper limits of %CDT and rGTP were set as 2.47 and 50, respectively. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve was used to obtain the cut-off value for the amount of drinking that caused abnormal %CDT and rGTP levels in the two groups. The sensitivity and specificity of the cut-off drinking amount for %CDT and rGTP abnormalities were analyzed in each group.
In the flushing group, the cut-off value for alcohol-induced %CDT abnormality was 3.38 drinks (1 drink: 14 g of alcohol) per week, with sensitivity of 77.8% and specificity of 70.4%. In the non-flushing group, the cut-off value was 11.25 drinks per week, with sensitivity of 62.2% and specificity of 69.6%. The cut-off value for the amount of alcohol that induced rGTP abnormality was 3.38 drinks per week in the flushing group, with sensitivity of 68.0% and specificity of 76.8%, whereas it was 8.75 drinks in the non-flushing group, with sensitivity of 71.1% and specificity of 66.7%. The area under the ROC of the drinking level was 0.726 in the flushing group and 0.684 in the non-flushing group for %CDT. For rGTP, the value was 0.738 in the flushing group and 0.718 in the non-flushing group.
The weekly drinking amount required to induce biomarker abnormalities was lower in the flushers than in the non-flushers.
Flushing; Alcohol; Biological Markers; Drinking
Medical congresses often held in highlands. We reviewed several medical issues associated with altitude stress especially while physicians have participated medical congress held in high altitude. Altitude stress, also known as an acute mountain sickness (AMS), is caused by acute exposure to low oxygen level at high altitude which is defined as elevations at or above 1,200 m and AMS commonly occurs above 2,500 m. Altitude stress with various symptoms including insomnia can also be experienced in airplane. AMS and drunken state share many common features in symptoms, neurologic manifestations and even show multiple microbleeds in corpus callosum and white matter on MRI. Children are more susceptible to altitude stress than adults. Gradual ascent is the best method for the prevention of altitude stress. Adequate nutrition (mainly carbohydrates) and hydration are recommended. Consumption of alcohol can exacerbate the altitude-induced impairments in judgment and the visual senses and promote psychomotor dysfunction. For prevention or treatment of altitude stress, acetazolamide, phosphodiesterase inhibitors, dexamethasone and erythropoietin are helpful. Altitude stress can be experienced relatively often during participation of medical congress. It is necessary to remind the harmful effect of AMS because it can cause serious permanent organ damage even though the symptoms are negligible in most cases.
Altitude stress; Acute Mountain Sickness; Airplane, Alcohol
In Korea, few studies have been performed on screening instruments for the detection of at-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders in the elderly. This study evaluated the validity of three screening instruments in elderly male drinkers.
The subjects were 242 Korean men aged ≥ 65 years. Face-to-face interviews were used to identify at-risk drinking and alcohol use disorders. At-risk drinking was defined according to the criteria for heavy or binge drinking of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol use disorder was diagnosed using the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV-text revision. The Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT), Short Michigan Alcoholism Screening Test-geriatric version (SMAST-G), and cut down, annoyed, guilty, eye-opener (CAGE) questionnaire were used as the alcohol-screening instruments. Based on the diagnostic interview results, sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) of the instruments were compared.
For identification of at-risk drinking, the AUDIT AUROC demonstrated greater diagnostic power than did those of SMAST-G and CAGE (both P < 0.001). In screening for alcohol use disorders, the AUDIT AUROC was also significantly higher than those of SMAST-G and CAGE (both P < 0.001). The sensitivity and specificity of screening for at-risk drinking with an AUDIT score ≥ 7 were 77.3% and 85.1%, respectively, whereas those for the alcohol use disorders with an AUDIT score ≥ 11 were 91.3% and 90.8%, respectively.
The results suggest that the AUDIT is the most effective tool in identifying problem drinkers among elderly male drinkers.
Alcohol; Mass Screening; Aged; Alcoholism
This study examined the effects of the method of delivery of brief advice on the readiness to change in at-risk drinkers.
The participants were 103 at-risk male drinkers who visited Chungnam National University Hospital for general health examinations. Baseline data on drinking behavior, readiness to change drinking behavior, and sociodemographic characteristics were obtained from a questionnaire. Family physicians gave two minutes of advice by telephone or in-person. The brief advice comprised a simple statement that the patient's drinking exceeded the recommended limits and could lead to alcohol-related problems. It also included advice to moderate one's drinking. One month later, the readiness to change was assessed again by telephone. The improvement in the readiness to change according to each method of delivery was investigated.
Initially, among the 58-patient in-person advice group, 12 patients were in the precontemplation stage, 38 in the contemplation stage, and 8 in the action stage. One month after the advice was given to the patients, the distribution had changed significantly (P < 0.001) to 1, 21, and 36 patients, respectively. Among the 45-patient telephone advice group, 7 patients were in the precontemplation stage, 32 patients were in the contemplation stage, and 6 patients were in the action stage before the advice. The distribution had changed significantly (P < 0.001) to 1, 17, and 27 patients, respectively, 1 month after the advice.
These results suggest that brief advice by family physicians is effective in improving the readiness to change of at-risk drinkers, regardless of the delivery method.
Drinking; Counseling; Physicians; Telephone; Attitude
This study was performed to evaluate the usefulness of carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) as a marker of heavy drinking in Korean males. The subjects (143 Korean males) were classified into 2 groups according to the amount of drinking, moderate drinkers (72 individuals) who drank 14 drinks or less per week and heavy drinkers (71 individuals) who drank more than 14 drinks per week. Using %CDT, gamma glutamyl transferase (GGT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) as clinical markers for heavy drinking, sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values were investigated. Sensitivities of %CDT, GGT, AST, and ALT were 83.1%, 67.6%, 52.1% and 46.5%, respectively. Specificities were 63.9%, 45.8%, 72.2%, and 54.2%, respectively. Positive predictive values were 69.4%, 55.2%, 64.9%, and 50.0% respectively. Negative predictive values were 79.3%, 58.9%, 60.5%, and 50.6% respectively. The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve (95% confidence interval) for %CDT, GGT, AST, and ALT were 0.823 (0.755-0.891), 0.578 (0.484-0.673), 0.622 (0.528-0.717), and 0.516 (0.420-0.613), respectively. CDT is considered as the most reliable marker for detecting heavy drinking in Korean males.
Drinking; Carbohydrate-deficient Transferrin; Diagnosis
This study was performed to investigate the effect of insight on the readiness to change in alcoholism. The subjects were 131 Korean male patients with alcohol dependence who were being hospitalized in a community-based alcohol treatment center. The patients' readiness to change was classified into precontemplation, contemplation, and action stage through the readiness to change questionnaire. The state of the patients' insight was measured through the Hanil alcohol insight scale. Fourteen patients (10.7%) were in the stage of precontemplation, 65 (49.6%) in contemplation and 52 (39.7%) in action stage. The insight score of the patients in precontemplation stage was significantly lower (p<0.001) than that of others. On the basis of the precontemplation stage, multinomial logistic regression analysis for the control of the differences in the patients' characteristics among each stage of the readiness to change showed that the possibility of contemplation and action stage went up 1.231 (p<0.01) and 1.249 (p<0.01) times higher as the insight score increased.
Alcoholism; Motivation; Awareness; Readiness to Change
This study was performed to examine the relationship between the abstinence results of alcohol dependents after discharge and the level of insight at the time of discharge. 117 male Korean alcohol dependents discharged from a community-based alcohol treatment center were followed up to determine the initial months of abstinence on a successive basis (IMA), total months of abstinence during 12-month period (TMA), and complete abstinence for one full year after discharge. Analyses of abstinence results with adjustment for the differences in baseline characteristics were performed for subjects' insight levels (poor, fair and good). The mean IMA of patients with good insight was significantly (p<0.01) longer than that of patients with poor insight and TMA of patients with good insight was significantly (p<0.001) longer than that of others. Using patients with good insight as the reference, patients with poor insight showed an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 0.07 (95% confidence interval [CI]=0.01-0.75, p<0.05) for complete abstinence for one full year after discharge and patients with fair insight, adjusted OR of 0.17 (95% CI=0.03-0.81, p<0.05). These results suggest that alcohol dependents' insight could be regarded as a factor related with abstinence.
Insight; Alcoholism; Alcohol Dependence; Abstinence
The objectives of this study were to develop a coronary heart disease (CHD) risk model among the Korean Heart Study (KHS) population and compare it with the Framingham CHD risk score.
A prospective cohort study within a national insurance system.
18 health promotion centres nationwide between 1996 and 2001 in Korea.
268 315 Koreans between the ages of 30 and 74 years without CHD at baseline.
Non-fatal or fatal CHD events between 1997 and 2011. During an 11.6-year median follow-up, 2596 CHD events (1903 non-fatal and 693 fatal) occurred in the cohort. The optimal CHD model was created by adding high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol and triglycerides to the basic CHD model, evaluating using the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) and continuous net reclassification index (NRI).
The optimal CHD models for men and women included HDL-cholesterol (NRI=0.284) and triglycerides (NRI=0.207) from the basic CHD model, respectively. The discrimination using the CHD model in the Korean cohort was high: the areas under ROC were 0.764 (95% CI 0.752 to 0.774) for men and 0.815 (95% CI 0.795 to 0.835) for women. The Framingham risk function predicted 3–6 times as many CHD events than observed. Recalibration of the Framingham function using the mean values of risk factors and mean CHD incidence rates of the KHS cohort substantially improved the performance of the Framingham functions in the KHS cohort.
The present study provides the first evidence that the Framingham risk function overestimates the risk of CHD in the Korean population where CHD incidence is low. The Korean CHD risk model is well-calculated alternations which can be used to predict an individual's risk of CHD and provides a useful guide to identify the groups at high risk for CHD among Koreans.
Increased serum homocysteine (Hcy) levels have been reported to be related to the occurrence of cardio- and cerebrovascular diseases. High serum Hcy levels are also related to the development of secondary stroke and all-cause mortality. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of high serum homocysteine level and relating factors, and the change over the 10 month period post-stroke.
Consecutive stroke patients who were admitted to the Asan Medical Center were enrolled. Ten months after the onset of stroke, an interview with a structured questionnaire was performed and blood samples were obtained for the biochemical parameters. Nutritional status was determined using the mini nutritional assessment (MNA) score and dietary nutrient intakes were also obtained using a 24 hour recall method.
Out of 203 patients, 84% were malnourished or at risk of malnutrition, and 26% had high homocysteine levels at 10 months post-stroke. Using logistic regression, the factors related with high homocysteine levels at 10 months post-stroke included heavy alcohol consumption (P = 0.020), low MNA scores (P = 0.026), low serum vitamin B12 (P = 0.021) and low serum folate levels (P = 0.003). Of the 156 patients who had normal homocysteine levels at admission, 36 patients developed hyperhomocysteinemia 10 months post-stroke, which was related to heavy alcohol consumption (P = 0.013). Persistent hyperhomocysteinemia, observed in 22 patients (11%), was related to male sex (P = 0.031), old age (P = 0.042), low vitamin B6 intake (P = 0.029), and heavy alcohol consumption (P = 0.013).
Hyperhomocysteinemia is common in post-stroke, and is related to malnutrition, heavy alcohol drinking and low serum level of folate and vitamin B12. Strategies to prevent or manage high homocysteine levels should consider these factors.
Homocysteine; stroke; nutritional status; alcohol consumption
Background and Purpose
The functional recovery after the lateral medullary infarction (LMI) is usually good. Little is known about the prognostic factors associated with poor outcome following acute LMI. The aim of this study was to identify the factors associated with poor long-term outcome after acute LMI, based on experiences at a single center over 11 years.
A consecutive series of 157 patients with acute LMI who were admitted within 7 days after symptom onset was evaluated retrospectively. Clinical symptoms were assessed within 1 day after admission, and outcomes were evaluated over a 1-year period after the initial event. The lesions were classified into three vertical types (rostral, middle, and caudal), and the patients were divided into two groups according to the outcome at 1 year: favorable [modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score ≤1] and unfavorable (mRS score ≥2).
Of the 157 patients, 93 (59.2%) had a favorable outcome. Older age, hypertension, dysphagia, requirement for intensive care, and pneumonia were significantly more prevalent in the unfavorable outcome group. The frequencies of intensive care (13%) and mortality (16.7%) were significantly higher in the rostral lesion (p=0.002 and p=0.002). Conditional logistic regression analysis revealed that older age and initial dysphagia were independently related to an unfavorable outcome at 1 year [odds ratio (OR)=1.04, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=1.001-1.087, p=0.049; OR=2.46, 95% CI=1.04-5.84, p=0.041].
These results suggest that older age and initial dysphagia in the acute phase are independent risk factors for poor long-term prognosis after acute LMI.
lateral medullary infarction; prognosis; dysphagia; age
This study introduces spark discharge system (SDS) as a way to simulate welding fumes. The SDS was developed using welding rods as electrodes with an optional coagulation chamber. The size, morphology, composition, and concentration of the fume produced and the concentration of ozone (O3) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) were characterized. The number median diameter (NMD) and total number concentration (TNC) of fresh fume particles were ranged 10–23 nm and 3.1×107–6×107 particles/cm3, respectively. For fresh fume particles, the total mass concentration (TMC) measured gravimetrically ranged 85–760 μg/m3. The size distribution was stable over a period of 12 h. The NMD and TNC of aged fume particles were ranged 81–154 nm and 1.5×106–2.7×106 particles/cm3, respectively. The composition of the aged fume particles was dominated by Fe and O with an estimated stoichiometry between that of Fe2O3 and Fe3O4. Concentrations of O3 and NOX were ranged 0.07–2.2 ppm and 1–20 ppm, respectively. These results indicate that the SDS is capable of producing stable fumes over a long-period that are similar to actual welding fumes. This system may be useful in toxicological studies and evaluation of instrumentation.
Human exposure to polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) can occur via ingestion of indoor dust, inhalation of PBDE-contaminated air and dust-bound PBDEs. However, few studies have examined the pulmonary toxicity of particle-bound PBDEs, mainly due to the lack of an appropriate particle-cell exposure system. In this study we developed an in vitro exposure system capable of generating particle-bound PBDEs mimicking dusts containing PBDE congeners (BDEs 35, 47, 99) and delivering them directly onto lung cells grown at an air-liquid interface (ALI). The silica particles and particle-coated with PBDEs ranged in diameter from 4.3 to 4.5 μm and were delivered to cells with no apparent aggregation. This experimental set up demonstrated high reproducibility and sensitivity for dosing control and distribution of particles. ALI exposure of cells to PBDE-bound particles significantly decreased cell viability and induced reactive oxygen species generation in A549 and NCI-H358 cells. In male Sprague-Dawley rats exposed via intratracheal insufflation (0.6 mg/rat), particle-bound PBDE exposures induced inflammatory responses with increased recruitment of neutrophils to the lungs compared to sham-exposed rats. The present study clearly indicates the potential of our exposure system for studying the toxicity of particle-bound compounds.
Particle-bound PBDEs; Lung cells; Air-liquid interface; In vitro toxicity testing; Cytotoxicity