Background: Alcohol is well established as a risk factor for cancer development in many organ sites. To assess the reliability and validity of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test - Consumption (AUDIT-C) for detecting alcohol use disorders or risky drinking in Japanese adults the present study was conducted. Materials and
Methods: A test-retest method was applied with a 2-week interval with 113 health care employees. The k coefficient, Cronbach’s coefficient alpha, Spearman’s correlation coefficient, and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) were determined and the validity of the AUDIT-C was analyzed using the data from a nationwide survey on adult alcohol use conducted in 2008 (n=4,123).
Results: The reliability of the AUDIT-C score was high (k coefficient=0.63, Cronbach’s alpha=0.98, correlation coefficient=0.95, and ICC=0.95). According to the likelihood ratio and Youden index, appropriate cutoffs for the AUDIT-C were ≥5points in men and ≥4 points in women. The sensitivity and specificity of these cutoffs for identifying ≥8 points on the AUDIT were 0.88 and 0.80, respectively,for men (positive likelihood ratio [LR+]=4.5) and 0.96 and 0.87, respectively, for women (LR+=7.7). The sensitivity and specificity of the cutoffs for identifying ≥12 points on the AUDIT were 0.90 and 0.84, respectively, for men (LR+=5.8) and 0.93 and 0.94, respectively, for women (LR+=15.8). The sensitivity and specificity of thecutoffs for identifying ≥16 points on the AUDIT were 0.93 and 0.80, respectively, for men (LR+=4.7) and 0.92 and 0.98, respectively, for women (LR+=55.6). With higher scores on the AUDIT, the specificity decreased and false-positives increased. The appropriate cutoffs for identifying risky drinking were the same for both genders.
Conclusions: The reliability and validity of the AUDIT-C are high, indicating that it is useful for identifying alcohol use disorders or risky drinking among the general population in Japan, a group at high risk of cancer development.