Background: Data evaluating the frequency of elevated aminotransferases (as a surrogate for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease [NAFLD]) and metabolic syndrome (MS) components among overweight multiethnic children/adolescents originating predominantly from South/Central America and the Caribbean are limited.
Methods: A sample (N = 284) of multiethnic (75% Latino, 25% Afro Caribbean/non-Hispanic black) overweight children/adolescents' (mean age 12.24 ± 3.48) overnight fasting insulin and glucose, systolic/diastolic blood pressure, HDL/LDL/total cholesterol, triglyceride, aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminostransferase (ALT) were analyzed.
Results: A total of 22% of the sample had elevated ALT (≥30 U/L; mean 25.94 U/L for Hispanics, 23.05 U/L for blacks) and 8% had elevated AST (≥ 35 U/L; mean 23.05 U/L for Hispanics, 24.68 U/L for blacks). AST and ALT were significantly correlated with triglycerides (r = 0.23, P < .01; r = 0.18, P < .05, respectively) for the overall sample.
Conclusions: Among overweight adolescents, MS components are associated with NALFD in subgroups of major ethnic groups suggesting that AST and ALT as surrogate markers for NAFLD should be included in addition to the standard cardio metabolic tests.
© Freund Publishing House Ltd. 2010