The relationship between obesity, alcohol use disorders and bariatric surgery has gained attention over the last years, especially since the prevalence of both obesity and bariatric surgery has been on the rise. It is therefore essential to correctly screen alcohol use in this population. We aimed at evaluating alcohol use with EtG, in combination with the AUDIT-C questionnaire, in bariatric surgery candidates in order to ascertain whether EtG might help to clarify and validate patients’ self-reported measures of alcohol drinking patterns.
We performed a cross-sectional evaluation including AUDIT-C and EtG. 197 participants accepted participation and completed the assessment. From them, 68.5% were women and 31.5% men, with a mean age of 46.7 years (range 18 – 66 years). The number of risky drinkers identified with the AUDIT-C was 14 (7.1%). EtG was positive in 29 patients. In the logistic regression models, EtG and sex were positive predictors of risky drinking as measured by the AUDIT-C questionnaire.
Our results support the use of a direct ethanol metabolite such as EtG in the screening of bariatric surgery candidates, not as a substitute of other screening instruments such as validated questionnaires, but as a synergistic tool that can potentially increase the validity of the evaluation.