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Cardio History
 
 

Alcohol History

 
 
 
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Overview

Alcohol abuse, binging and dependence is very common in the community, and can result in significant acute and chronic complications.
In the context of the cardiovascular history, alcohol is an important risk factor for hypertension and dilated cardiomyopathy; it is also a precipitant for atrial fibrillation.
  • Ask About

  • Everyone

  • Whether they drink alcohol regularly
  • How often - daily, weekly, monthly, or on social occasions only
  • What type of alcohol they drink
  • How many drinks on each occasion / each day
  • The most they drink at any given time
  • Where they drink - restaurants, bars, parties, at home
  • Amount spent on alcohol
  • Heavy Drinkers

  • Withdrawal symptoms - sweating, rigors, nausea, past seizures
  • Alcohol free days
  • Past attempts to quit drinking
  • Willingness to cut down or stop
  • Consequences of Alcohol Abuse

  • Oesophagitis
  • Pancreatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease - steatosis, hepatitis, cirrhosis
  • Cardiovascular disease - hypertension, dilated cardiomyopathy, atrial fibrillation
  • Neurologic complications - Wernicke encephalopathy, Korsakoff syndrome, cerebellar atrophy, peripheral neuropathy, myopathy
  • Malignancy - mouth, oesophagus, throat, liver, breast
  • Bone marrow suppression
  • Osteoporosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Trauma - high risk behaviour, MVA
  • Psychiatric disorders - depression, anxiety, suicide

What is a Standard Drink?

One standard drink in Australia contains 10g of alcohol.
  • One Standard Drink

  • Beer

  • 285mL full strength beer (4.8%) - 1.1 standard drinks
  • 375mL full strength beer (4.8%) - 1.4 standard drinks
  • 425mL full strength beer (4.8%) - 1.6 standard drinks
  • 285mL mid strength beer (3.5%) - 0.8 standard drinks
  • 375mL mid strength beer (3.5%) - 1 standard drink
  • 425mL mid strength beer (3.5%) - 1.2 standard drinks
  • 285mL low strength beer (2.7%) - 0.6 standard drinks
  • 375mL low strength beer (2.7%) - 0.8 standard drinks
  • 425mL low strength beer (2.7%) - 0.9 standard drinks
  • Wine

  • 150mL red wine (13%) - 1.5 standard drinks
  • 150mL white wine (11.5%) - 1.4 standard drinks
  • 150mL sparkling wine (12%) - 1.4 standard drinks
  • 60mL port (17.5%) - 1.4 standard drinks
  • Spirits

  • 30mL standard spirit (40%) - 1 standard drink

The CAGE questionnaire

A screening tool for alcohol dependence.
  • Ask About

  • Cut down - have they ever felt that they should cut down on their drinking?
  • Annoyed - do they get annoyed when other people talk to them about how much they drink?
  • Guilty - have they ever felt guilty about something they did as a result of their drinking
  • Eye opener - do they use alcohol to help them wake up in the morning?
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