Association of serum alanine aminotransferase levels with cardiometabolic risk factors in normal-weight and overweight children

Samani, S-Ghatreh.; Kelishadi, R.; Adibi, A.; Noori, H.; Moeini, M.

Iranian Journal of Pediatrics 21(3): 287-293


ISSN/ISBN: 2008-2142
PMID: 23056803
Accession: 051687251

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This study aimed to determine the prevalence of increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT), defined by a gender-specific cutoff value, among normal weight and overweight children; and to assess the relationship of increasing ALT levels with cardiometabolic risk factors. This cross-sectional study was conducted among school students, aged 6-18 years in Isfahan, Iran. Based on the body mass index (BMI) percentiles, a group of normal-weight was compared with a group of overweight and obese students. Gender differences were considered for increased levels of ALT, i.e. 19U/L and 30U/L for girls and boys respectively. The study participants consisted of 1172 students (56.2% girls), with a mean (SD) age of 12.57 (3.3) years. Among overweight/obese students the mean triglycerides (TG) and diastolic blood pressure was significantly higher in those with increased ALT than in those with normal ALT levels. The logistic regression analysis showed that among overweight/obese boys, for each 1 unit increase in ALT, the odds ratio (OR) of TG, total cholesterol and systolic blood pressure increased significantly. After adjusting for age, these associations remained significant, and the OR of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) decreased significantly. In the model adjusting for age and BMI, the ORs of TG and HDL-c remained significant. After adjusting for age and waist circumference, HDL-c was the only parameter with significant OR. Among overweight/obese girls, in all models applied, the OR was significant for TG and total cholesterol. A significant independent association was documented for waist circumference and increase in ALT after adjustment for BMI. This study documented significant relationship of increased ALT levels, defined by a gender-specific cutoff point, with cardiometabolic risk factors and hypertriglyceridemic-waist phenotype in Iranian children and adolescents.