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BACKGROUND: Current literature lacks data on markers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) patients. We therefore, conducted a cross-sectional study to examine modifiable clinical and lifestyle factors associated with elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels as a marker of NAFLD in new T2DM patients. METHODS: Alanine aminotransferase levels were measured in 1026 incident T2DM patients enrolled in the nationwide Danish Centre for Strategic Research in Type 2 Diabetes (DD2) cohort. We examined prevalence of elevated ALT (>38 IU/L for women and >50 IU/L for men) and calculated prevalence ratios associated with clinical and lifestyle factors using Poisson regression. We examined the association with other biomarkers by linear regression. RESULTS: The median value of ALT was 24 IU/L (interquartile range: 18-32 IU/L) in women and 30 IU/L (interquartile range: 22-41 IU/L) in men. Elevated ALT was found in 16% of incident T2DM patients. The risk of elevated ALT was increased in patients who were <40 years old at diabetes debut [adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR): 1.96, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.15-3.33], in those with alcohol overuse (>14/>21 drinks per week for women/men) (aPR: 1.60, 95% CI: 1.03-2.50), and in those with no regular physical activity (aPR: 1.42, 95% CI: 1.04-1.93). Obesity and metabolic syndrome per se showed no association with elevated ALT when adjusted for other markers, whereas we found positive associations of ALT with increased C-peptide (β = 0.14, 95% CI: 0.06-0.21) and fasting blood glucose (β = 0.07, 95% CI: 0.03-0.11). CONCLUSIONS: Among newly diagnosed T2DM patients, several modifiable clinical and lifestyle factors are independent markers of elevated ALT levels.

Original publication

DOI

10.1002/dmrr.2539

Type

Journal article

Journal

Diabetes/metabolism research and reviews

Publication Date

11/2014

Volume

30

Pages

707 - 715

Addresses

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark.

Keywords

Humans, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Weight Gain, C-Peptide, Alanine Transaminase, Biological Markers, Prevalence, Linear Models, Poisson Distribution, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Alcohol Drinking, Sex Factors, Adult, Denmark, Female, Male, Young Adult, Sedentary Lifestyle, Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease