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Joint Effect of Hepatic Steatosis and Alanine Aminotransferase Within the Normal Range on Incident Ischemic Heart Disease: A Prospective Study in Koreans

Authors Jung DH, Lee YJ, Park B

Received 12 January 2021

Accepted for publication 8 March 2021

Published 22 March 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 513—523


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Nandu Goswami

Dong-Hyuk Jung,1,2 Yong Jae Lee,3,4 Byoungjin Park1

1Department of Family Medicine, Yongin Severance Hospital, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, 16995, Republic of Korea; 2Department of Health Promotion Centre, Yongin Severance Hospital, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, 16995, Republic of Korea; 3Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, 03722, Republic of Korea; 4Department of Family Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Seoul, 06273, Republic of Korea

Correspondence: Byoungjin Park
Department of Family Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Yongin Severance Hospital, 363 Dongbaekjukjeondae-Ro, Giheung-Gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, 16995, Republic of Korea
Tel + 82 31 5189 8763
Email [email protected]

Purpose: Hepatic steatosis has been associated with some cardiovascular risks. Increased alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was suggested to be linked to endothelial dysfunction. We prospectively investigated the joint effect of hepatic steatosis and elevated ALT within the normal range on incident ischemic heart disease (IHD) risk as an extrahepatic complication.
Patients and Methods: We assessed 16,541 participants without diabetes using data from a health risk assessment study (HERAS) and Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment (HIRA) data. We defined elevated ALT within the normal range as 30– 40 IU/L in men and 23– 40 IU/L in women, according to previous Korean epidemiological data. We prospectively assessed hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for IHD using multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression models over a 50-month period after the baseline survey.
Results: During the follow-up period, 368 (2.2%) participants developed IHD. Compared to the group with no hepatic steatosis and controlled ALT, the HRs for IHD were 1.68 (95% CI, 1.16– 2.42) in the group with hepatic steatosis and elevated ALT after adjusting for confounding variables.
Conclusion: Hepatic steatosis and elevated ALT levels within the normal range may jointly affect the development of IHD among nondiabetic adults. This indicates that lifestyle advice and vascular health management should be recommended among individuals with hepatic steatosis and elevated ALT, even if it falls within the normal range.

Keywords: hepatic steatosis, alanine aminotransferase, prospective cohort study, ischemic heart disease, extrahepatic complication

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