Alcoholism in an industrial population: diagnosis, prevalence and conditioning factors.

P Fidalgo, M P Alves, A Freire, F Batista, A Fernandes, B Gard, F B Barros, J P Correia


The pattern of alcohol consumption has been studied among 92 males, workers in a factory of the Lisbon area. In this population there were three groups of ethanol consumers: I--non consumers, 6%; II--medium, up to 80g/day, 68%; III--heavy consumers, more than 80g/day, 26%. Another group (IV) was considered, for reference, with 23 patients with heavy alcoholism in the outpatients of an alcoholic addicts clinic. Besides the clinical questionnaire and medical examination, the following methods have been used and analysed: brief MAST; Le Gô, Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV), serum glutamic oxalacetic Trasaminase (SGOT), and gama-glutamyl transpepticlase (gamma GT). The mean ethanol consumption in group IV was significantly higher than in group III (p less than 0.005), and in group III higher than in group II (p less than 0.001). Group IV demarked itself form group III due to a higher prevalence of symptoms of physical dependence (p less than 0.001), and of consumption of tranquilizers (p less than 0.01). In group III the sensitivity of brief MAST has been only 8.5% and of Le Gô 13%. An increased MCV was found in 20% of individuals in group I, 4.9% in group II, 20% in group IV. The SGOT was normal in groups I and II, and increased in 8.7% of group III and 30.4% of group IV (p less than 0.05). The gamma GT was normal in group I and abnormal in 4.7% of group IV (p less than 0.01). In conclusion, approximately 25% of the workers have an excessive ethanol consumption.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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