Alcohol consumption assessment in a student population through combined hair analysis for ethyl glucuronide and fatty acid ethyl esters

David Oppolzer, Catarina Santos, Eugenia Gallardo, Luís Passarinha, Mário Barroso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aimed to assess alcohol consumption in a university student population though the combined analysis of the alcohol biomarkers ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and fatty acid ethyl esters (FAEEs) in hair samples. A total of 975 hair samples were analysed for EtG and FAEEs using liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC–MS/MS) and gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC–MS/MS), respectively. The results were analysed using the cut-offs proposed by the Society of Hair Testing and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis was performed to verify the adequacy of the proposed values for the study population. Good sensitivity and specificity were obtained for both biomarkers, especially for EtG, and a correlation was found with the self-reported alcohol consumption habit. In 56.3% of the abstinent, 65.8% of the moderate and 80.0% of the excessive drinking cases, self-reported alcohol consumption could be confirmed by combined alcohol biomarker analysis. Combined analysis of EtG and FAEEs in hair samples proved to be a valuable tool for the monitoring of alcohol consumption in a student population. For a feasible result interpretation, it is very important to document the use of hair products, cosmetic treatments and washing frequency, and for these to be considered during interpretation. Overall the participants were aware of their consumption pattern, however for doubtful cases and to account for academic calendars, repeated analysis of samples collected at different time frames would be advisable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-47
Number of pages9
JournalForensic Science International
Volume294
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Alcohol consumption
  • Ethyl glucuronide
  • Ethyl palmitate
  • Hair
  • University students

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Alcohol consumption assessment in a student population through combined hair analysis for ethyl glucuronide and fatty acid ethyl esters'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this