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Can The Life Insurance Blood Test Detect Recent Alcohol Use?

by Scott G on December 13, 2012 · 1 comment

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Yes, but..  Most life insurance companies require a brief physical performed by a health professional paid for by the insurance company. The exam takes about 30 minutes and entails the recording your height, weight and blood pressure. They will also take a small blood and urine sample. 

Will alcohol show up on my life insurance blood test if I had a drink recently?

The insurance companies perform what is called an ABC-Automated Blood Count blood test.  Some labs refer to it as the CBC-Complete Blood Count.  The ABC blood test does check the liver enzymes like GGT, ALT, AST as well as Carbohydrate-Deficient Transferrein (CDT).  Since alcohol is processed in the liver, an elevated GGT enzyme can be an indicator of heavy alcohol use or liver injury.  Unlike like the GGT test, the CDT is more sensitive and is a maker of recent heavy alcohol consumption.  CDT can detect how many alcohol drinks have been consumed within the past two weeks or so.  Some estimates say, if you consume 4 or more alcohol drinks a day for 14 days or more, then the numbers will be elevated.

What does that mean?

So if you have a glass of wine or a beer or two after work you should be fine.  Although, you should refrain from any alcohol leading up to the exam just to be safe.  However, if you do consume a lot of alcohol on a daily or regular basis, you may want to hold off on your exam until you liver enzymes go back down to acceptable levels.

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