No chance for ste alth
In the USA, a new test method has now been developed to determine the state of alcohol consumption of the person being examined. The first results show that the test has a high accuracy. When people are asked about their “drinking habits”, one usually has to hope that they are honest. And especially when it comes to the consumption of alcohol, it can happen that the answers are a bit embellished.
Soon there may be a new test method to check such information. At the University of Iowa College of Medicine, scientists led by Professor Arthur J. Hartz set out to find a set of laboratory tests that would ultimately distinguish relatively heavy drinkers from moderate drinkers.
The study, published in the December 1997 issue of the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, examined 615 subjects: 426 were classified as heavy drinkers and 188 as moderate drinkers. The scientists found a combination of 10 blood tests that allowed them to identify 98% of heavy drinkers and 95% of moderate drinkers.
A reliable test method based on blood samples would not only be of great interest in the medical field. Institutions such as insurance companies will also follow developments closely. But there will be "no danger" for a while: According to Hartz, a large number of clinical tests are still necessary before the new method can be used.
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