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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 30, 2009

Elevated serum γ-glutamyltransferase activity is associated with increased risk of mortality, incident type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular events, chronic kidney disease and cancer – a narrative review

  • Giovanni Targher


In clinical practice, increased serum γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) activity is usually interpreted as a marker of alcohol abuse and liver dysfunction. The knowledge of the GGT's physiological functions has expanded and several important epidemiological associations have been reported. This review examines evidence for an association of high normal serum GGT enzyme activity, mostly within the reference range, with the risk of mortality and major vascular (i.e., cardiovascular morbidity and mortality) and non-vascular outcomes (i.e., incident type 2 diabetes, chronic kidney disease and cancer), independent of alcohol consumption and other prognostic factors.

Clin Chem Lab Med 2010;48:147–57.

Corresponding author: Dr. Giovanni Targher, Section of Endocrinology, Department of Biomedical and Surgical Sciences, University of Verona, Ospedale Civile Maggiore, Piazzale Stefani, 1, 37126 Verona, Italy Phone: +39-045-8123748, Fax: +39-045-8027314,

Received: 2009-7-24
Accepted: 2009-9-18
Published Online: 2009-11-30
Published in Print: 2010-02-01

©2010 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin New York

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