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May 1980

Clinical Relationships Between Serum Phosphorus and Other Blood Chemistry Values in Alcoholics

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Clinical Studies, Division of Intramural Research (Dr Ryback), and the Laboratory of Preclinical Studies, Division of Intramural Research (Dr Eckardt), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; and the Statistical and Mathematical Applications Branch, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration (Mr Pautler), Rockville, Md.

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(5):673-677. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330170089029

• Hypophosphatemia was found in 11 of 434 (2.5%) male patients admitted to an alcohol treatment program and 21 of 69 (30.4%) male alcoholic patients admitted to the medical wards. In contrast, hyperphosphatemia was found in 43 of 434 (9.9%) treatment program alcoholics, and only one of 69 (1.4%) medical-ward alcoholics. Analysis of a sample of 57 nonalcoholic inpatients from the same hospital revealed one (1.8%) patient with hypophosphatemia and one (1.8%) patient with hyperphosphatemia. No relationship was found between phosphorus levels and magnesium, creatinine phosphokinase, RBCs, or hematocrit. A transient but significant (P <.05) hypophosphatemia was found between the second and fifth days after admission in a subsample of 26 medical-ward alcoholics who had had a normal serum phosphate level on admission. It is suggested that phosphate levels of less than 1.1 mg/dL may predict impending hemolysis or rhabdomyolysis in the alcoholic.

(Arch Intern Med 140:673-677, 1980)