Effects of ethanol intoxication and gender on blood coagulation

Nicholas Spoerke, Samantha Underwood, Jerome Differding, Phil Van, Chitra Sambasivan, David Shapiro, Martin Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Background: Ethanol intoxication is a common contributor to traumatic injury. It is unknown whether ethanol consumption contributes to the coagulation differences seen between men and women after trauma. Our aim was to examine the combined effect of ethanol intoxication and gender on coagulation. Methods: Fifty-eight healthy subjects participated and chose to enter into a control group (CG; n = 20; 10 men and 10 women) or drinking group (DG; n = 38; 20 men and 18 women). Venous blood samples for thrombelastography, plasminogen activator inhibitor, thrombin-antithrombin complex, and tissue plasminogen activator were drawn at the beginning of the study. Subjects then interacted in a social atmosphere for at least 2 hours, eating and consuming alcoholic (DG) or nonalcoholic (CG) beverages. After 2 hours, blood alcohol level was determined and blood was drawn for a second set of coagulation studies. Results: Demographics were similar between groups except for age (36.7 years CG vs. 29.9 years DG; p = 0.009). All baseline thrombelastography measurements were similar between the CG and DG. Blood alcohol levels in the DG were similar between genders at the end of study. At the end of study, a decreased rate of fibrin formation, decreased clot strength, and a decreased rate of fibrin cross-linking was seen in men but not in women. Fibrinolysis was inhibited in drinkers compared with controls. Conclusions: Consumption of commonly ingested quantities of alcohol correlated with the development of a hypocoagulable state in men but had no effect on coagulation status in women. This phenomenon may contribute to differences in post-trauma coagulation status previously noted between genders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1106-1110
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Trauma - Injury, Infection and Critical Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Alcohol
  • Coagulation
  • Gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of ethanol intoxication and gender on blood coagulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this