Background: Carriers of the ALDH2*2 allele have impaired alcohol metabolism and are more susceptible to the development of alcohol-related cancers, including head and neck cancer (HNC). Screening for ALDH2*2 allele may identify high-risk individuals for alcohol health education. Although genotyping of ALDH2 is the most accurate way to identify ALDH2 deficiency, it may not be practical due to the cost and requirement for genotyping service. Methods: This study evaluated the accuracy of the alcohol flushing questionnaire to identify ALDH2 deficiency in a case–control study of HNC conducted in Taiwan using data collected from 904 patients with HNC and 1,078 controls. Results: Overall, alcohol flushing questionnaire had a high sensitivity (89%) of identifying ALDH2*2 carriers among the control subjects and a good sensitivity (79%) among the patients with HNC. The sensitivity of the alcohol flushing questionnaire in identifying ALDH2*2 carriers was affected by alcohol use, with a lower sensitivity among individuals who consumed alcohol, particularly among current regular (drinking alcohol once per week or more) alcohol drinkers. Conclusions: The current validation study showed that the alcohol flushing questionnaire may be a reasonable method to identify ALDH2-deficient individuals. However, current regular users of alcohol who reported no alcohol flushing may need to undergo genotyping of ALDH2 for a more accurate assessment of the ALDH2 status.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Psychiatry and Mental health