Insulin resistance is associated with elevated transaminases and low aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase ratio in young adults with normal weight

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Abstract

Objective

The aim of this study is to determine whether insulin resistance is associated with elevation of transaminases levels and aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio in normal-weight healthy young adults.

Participants and methods

Apparently healthy nonpregnant women and men, aged 18–23 years, were enrolled in a cross-sectional study. According to the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance, the participants were allocated into groups of patients with (>2.5) and without (≤2.5) insulin resistance. Normal weight was defined by BMI of at least 18.5 and less than 25.0 kg/m2. A multiple logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine the association between insulin resistance and elevated transaminases and AST/ALT ratio of 1 or less.

Results

A total of 1732 young adults were enrolled and allocated into groups with (n=287) and without (n=1445) insulin resistance. The prevalence of insulin resistance was 16.6% in the overall population. The multivariate logistic regression analysis adjusted by age, sex, waist circumference, and BMI indicated that the odds ratio (OR) between insulin resistance and elevated ALT concentrations is 1.65 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04–2.62, P=0.03], for AST/ALT ratio lower than 1 OR is 1.69 (95% CI: 1.27–2.26, P<0.001), and for elevated AST levels OR is 1.31 (95% CI: 0.71–2.43, P=0.377).

Conclusion

The results of the present study suggest that insulin resistance is significantly associated with elevated ALT levels and AST/ALT ratio of lower than 1, but not with elevated AST levels.

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