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A new century approach for alcohol screen in the insurance industry

A new century approach for alcohol screen in the insurance industry

Journal of Insurance Medicine 33(2): 183-188

Several recent studies point to the value of using combinations of biochemical markers for the identification of alcohol abuse. The Early Detection of Alcohol Consumption (EDAC) test uses a statistical method that combines the results of several routine laboratory tests to form a metabolic fingerprint for each subject. In this study, we evaluated the use of the EDAC test as a screening tool to assess heavy drinking in insurance applicants. The EDAC was calculated by linear discriminate function analysis using the results of 14 routine tests including liver enzymes, lipids, proteins, and blood sugars. We collected and analyzed 1680 random samples at Heritage Laboratories (Olathe, Kan). Alcohol Detection Services (Brookfield, Wis) and Millennium Strategies (Madison, Wis) collaborated in the data analysis and interpretation of laboratory tests results. Ninety-three percent of applicants showed a negative EDAC test. The 7% (n = 134) who screened positive for the EDAC test were then reflexed to carbohydrate deficient transferin (CDT) and whole blood associated acetaldehyde (WBAA). Sixteen percent (22/134) showed a positive confirmatory test. Among these 16% of subjects, 41% (9/22) showed no elevations in liver enzymes or HDL-C results. Four of these subjects were among the top one third with the highest elevations for the CDT test in the entire group and one of them was positive for both the CDT and WBAA tests. These results suggest that the EDAC screen may provide an efficient alternative screening tool for the identification of heavy alcohol consumption not HBA as it identifies applicants with both normal or abnormal liver enzymes and HDL-C.

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Accession: 045079326

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PMID: 11510515

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