Binge Drinkers Have Specific Biomarkers in Blood
Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago may have found a biomarker in the blood that could be used to screen people for binge drinking, especially young adults. Although this biomarker, Phosphatidylethanol (PEth) has been studied before, it has never been studied in young adults.
The researchers used a sample of students from two large universities in the Midwest who were already participating in the cardiovascular effects of binge drinking. During their participation, the students completed a 10 question self-assessment survey and had their blood drawn. From the results of the surveys, they were divided into three different groups in regards to alcohol consumption: abstainers, moderate drinkers and binge drinkers. Abstainers were those who did not drink more than one drink in the last month, moderate were those who drank three or less two times a week and binge drinkers were those who had two or more heavy drinking episodes within the last month.
The blood drawn was then studied for the biomarkers. Researchers found that those who were categorized as binge drinkers had higher PEth levels than the moderate drinkers or abstainers. The results of the survey matched the blood results.
The researchers on the study believe that this discovery can help screen young adults and adolescents binge drinking habits.