Comparison of self-reported alcohol use with the alcohol biomarker phosphatidylethanol among young people in northern Tanzania

Francis, J; Weiss, H; Helander, A; Kapiga, S; Changalucha, J; Grosskurth, H Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2015; Comparison of self-reported alcohol use with the alcohol biomarker phosphatidylethanol among young people in northern Tanzania

The one-month Time Line Follow Back Calendar (TLFB) and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) are both used to collect self-reported alcohol intake data. This paper compares these instruments with the alcohol biomarker phosphatidylethanol (PEth) among young people in northern Tanzania. 

AUDIT and TLFB were applied in a cross sectional study of 202 young people (18-24 years) who reported using alcohol during the past year (103 male casual labourers; 99 college students)

The results show that:

  • for both self-report methods, alcohol consumption was high, particularly among men
  • almost half (49%) of participants were PEth-positive
  • there were significant positive correlations between reported total alcohol intake and PEth concentration in males
  • self reported use in the past month was a sensitive marker of having a positive PEth result with 89% of those with a PEth positive result reporting alcohol use, and this was similar in all groups

TLFB and AUDIT are sensitive measures to detect heavy alcohol use among young-people in northern Tanzania. They can be used to identify young people who may benefit from alcohol-focused interventions. 

 

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