Urine ethanol concentration and alcohol hangover severity

Brookhuis, K., Van De Loo, A., Mackus, M. & Verster, J., Jan-2017, In : Psychopharmacology. 234, 1, p. 73-77 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between urine ethanol concentration and alcohol hangover severity.

N = 36 healthy social drinkers participated in a naturalistic study, comprising a hangover day and a control day. N = 18 of them have regular hangovers (the hangover group), while the other N = 18 claim to be hangover immune (hangover-immune group). On each test day at 9.30 am, urine samples were collected. Participants rated their overall hangover severity on a scale from 0 (absent) to 10 (extreme), as well as 18 individual hangover symptoms.

Urine ethanol concentration was significantly higher on the hangover day when compared to the control day (p = 0.006). On the hangover day, urine ethanol concentration was significantly lower in the hangover-immune group when compared to the hangover group (p = 0.027). In the hangover-immune group, none of the correlations of urine ethanol concentration with individual hangover symptoms was significant. In contrast, in the hangover group, significant correlations were found with a variety of hangover symptoms, including nausea, concentration problems, sleepiness, weakness, apathy, sweating, stomach pain, thirst, heart racing, anxiety, and sleep problems.

Urine ethanol levels are significantly associated with the presence and severity of several hangover symptoms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-77
Number of pages5
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2017


  • severity, ETHANOL, ALCOHOL, hangover

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