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 [F] Diseases Research  / PubMed Research Articles  /
Associations between Liver Enzyme Levels and Parameters of the Metabolic Syndrome in Obese Children.




Hormone research in paediatrics 2017 Sep 12; ()


Hampe CS1; Shaffer ML2; Roth CL3;

Author Information
  • 1Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • 2Seattle Children's Research Institute, Center for Clinical and Translational Research, Seattle, Washington, USA.
  • 3Center for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle Children's Hospital and Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA.


BACKGROUND: Obesity is strongly associated with insulin resistance, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and therefore risk for metabolic syndrome (MetS), which is an increasing problem in youth. The potential role of elevated liver enzyme levels in this context needs to be further investigated.

METHODS: This paper provides a post hoc analysis of a cross-sectional study of 77 obese nondiabetic children (51% female; median age 11.7 years; BMI >97th percentile) enrolled at the University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany. Anthropometric parameters, lipid profiles, glycemic control, and liver enzyme levels were evaluated. Glucose and insulin levels were determined during an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Gender- and age-specific cutoff values were used to assess MetS.

RESULTS: A high prevalence of hypertension (51%), dyslipidemia (52%), elevated liver enzyme levels (51%), and hyperglycemia (24%) was found. There was considerable overlap between the presence of different MetS risk factors in individuals, and 40% of the participants had ≥3 of a maximum of 5 MetS risk factors. Elevated liver enzyme levels were significantly associated with reduced insulin sensitivity, as the OGTT-insulin response was significantly higher in participants with elevated transaminases (p = 0.01). This association was independent of hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia (p = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that liver enzyme levels are related to insulin sensitivity in obese children and could therefore be an indirect indicator for MetS. Testing for disturbed glucose metabolism should be considered for obese children with elevated liver enzymes.

© 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.




Publication Type: Journal Article

This article is licensed under the the National Library of Medicine License. It uses material from the PubMed National Library of Medicine Data.

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