• 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)