Research Papers: Pathology:

Liver enzymes and metabolic syndrome: a large-scale case-control study

Lu Zhang, Xiangyu Ma, Zhi Jiang, Kejun Zhang, Mengxuan Zhang, Yafei Li, Xiaolan Zhao and Hongyan Xiong _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:26782-26788. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.5792

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Lu Zhang1,2,*, Xiangyu Ma1,*, Zhi Jiang3, Kejun Zhang4, Mengxuan Zhang1, Yafei Li1, Xiaolan Zhao3,** and Hongyan Xiong1,**

1 Department of Epidemiology, College of Preventive Medicine, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China

2 Division of Scientific Research, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China

3 Health Care Center of Southwest Hospital, The First Affiliated Hospital of The Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China

4 Department of Clinical Laboratory, Institute of Surgery Research, Daping Hospital, Third Military Medical University, Chongqing, China

* These authors hav contributed equally to this work

** These authors jointly directed the project

Correspondence to:

Hongyan Xiong, email:

Keywords: metabolic syndrome, liver enzymes, association, biomarker, Pathology section

Received: June 17, 2015 Accepted: August 29, 2015 Published: September 22, 2015


Previous studies suggested that elevated liver enzymes could be used as potential novel biomarkers of Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its clinical outcomes, although the results were inconsistent and the conclusions were underpowered. A case-control study with 6,268 MetS subjects and 6,330 frequency-matched healthy controls was conducted to systematically evaluated levels of four liver enzymes (ALT, AST, GGT and ALP), both in overall populations and in subjects with normal liver enzymes, with MetS risk using both quartiles and continuous unit of liver enzymes. We found significant associations were detected for all above analyses. Compared with quartile 1 (Q1), other quartiles have significant higher MetS risk, with ORs ranging from 1.15 to 18.15. The highest effected was detected for GGT, for which the OR value for the highest versus lowest quartile was 18.15 (95% CI: 15.7-20.9). Mutual adjustment proved the independence of the relations for all four liver enzymes. Sensitivity analyses didn’t materially changed the trend. To the best of our knowledge, this study should be the largest, which aimed at evaluating the association between liver enzymes measures and MetS risk. The results can better support that liver enzyme levels could be used as clinical predictors of MetS.

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