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Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM)

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In This Section
Volume 48, Issue 2 (Feb 2010)


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
  • Section of Endocrinology, Department of Biomedical and Surgical Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
Published Online: 2009-11-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2010.031


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.

Keywords: cancer; cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; diabetes; epidemiology; γ-glutamyltransferase

About the article

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: 2009-07-24

Accepted: 2009-09-18

Published Online: 2009-11-30

Published in Print: 2010-02-01

Citation Information: Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, ISSN (Online) 1437-4331, ISSN (Print) 1434-6621, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/CCLM.2010.031. Export Citation

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