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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prevalence of high alcohol and benzodiazepine consumption in sleep apnea patients studied with blood and urine tests.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the prevalence of alcoholism and benzodiazepine abuse among patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Such abuse may aggravate the tendency to apneas, especially in patients with OSAS. MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study included 98 consecutive OSAS patients. Two patients dropped out; blood samples could not be obtained from two other patients and a urine sample could not be obtained from one. Blood and urine samples were examined for carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) and 5-hydroxytryptophol (5-HTOL), markers of excess alcohol intake, and urine-benzodiazepines (u-Benz), a marker of drug abuse. Patients with positive screening tests were offered therapy for their abuse. RESULTS: The CDT test was positive in 8/94 patients (8.5%), the 5-HTOL test in 6/95 (6.3%) and the u-Benz test in 3/95 (3.2%). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings correlate well with current views concerning alcohol and drug abuse in Sweden, and do not indicate that the frequency of such abuse is higher among OSAS patients. It should be noted that none of the patients who screened positive in the laboratory tests admitted to being alcohol or drug abusers when they consulted their physician. We recommend screening all OSAS patients for alcohol abuse using not only a questionnaire but also a laboratory test such as the CDT test.[1]


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