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Korean J Fam Med. 2016 Jan;37(1):2-6. doi: 10.4082/kjfm.2016.37.1.2. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

Drinking Amount Associated with Abnormal Gamma-Glutamyl Transpeptidase Expression in Women.

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Department of Family Medicine, Research Institute for Medical Sciences, Chungnam National University School of Medicine, Daejeon, Korea.



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.


Drinking; Flushing; Gamma-Glutamyltransferase

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