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Body weight, alcohol consumption and liver enzyme activity
This prospective study Duk-Hee Lee et al was performed in order to investigate the effect of baseline body mass index (BMI), BMI changes, baseline alcohol consumption, and changes in alcohol consumption on liver enzyme activity. The study population consisted of 6846 male workers in a steel manufacturing company who had undergone health examinations in 1994 and 1998.

Results The risk for elevated aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values over the four years increased with weight gain, but not with alcohol consumption. Compared with the subject BMI <20, the adjusted odds ratios (OR) for those with baseline BMI 2021.9, 2224.9, 25 were 1.2, 1.6, 1.7 in AST and 1.4, 2.4, 2.8 in ALT, respectively. Compared with subjects who either lost or maintained their weight, the adjusted OR for men with slight, moderate, and heavy weight gain were 1.7, 2.6, 6.8 in AST and 2.4, 3.9, 11.3 in ALT, respectively. However gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) was associated with BMI changes and baseline alcohol consumption, not with baseline BMI and changes in alcohol consumption. Compared with subjects who lost or maintained weight, the adjusted OR for men with slight, moderate, and heavy weight gain were 2.4, 4.4 and 8.5, respectively. In comparison with non-drinkers, the adjusted odds ratio for light, moderate and heavy drinkers were 1.8, 2.1 and 5.8, respectively.

Conclusion These data suggest that body weight, rather than alcohol consumption, may be the major factor in determining the serum level of liver enzymes. Even when body weight was not generally considered to be overweight, slight to moderate gains in weight were associated with increases in serum liver enzymes.

Duk-Hee Leea, Myung-Hwa Hab and David C Christianic a Department of Preventive Medicine, College of Medicine, Kosin University, 34 Amnam-Dong, Suh-Gu, Pusan, Korea, 602702. Email:ducky@ns.kosinmed.or.krb Health Care Center, Pohang Steel Company, Pohang, Korea.

c Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

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