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Abnormal serum alanine aminotransferase levels are associated with impaired insulin sensitivity in young women with polycystic ovary syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Chris Day


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Background and aim: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are both associated with insulin resistance. We assessed whether NAFLD is associated with impaired insulin sensitivity in PCOS women independently of age and total adiposity. Subjects and methods: We enrolled 14 young PCOS women with NAFLD, 14 women with PCOS alone and 14 healthy controls, who were matched for age, body mass index, and total body fat (by bio-impedance analyzer). NAFLD was diagnosed by the surrogate measure of abnormal serum alanine anninotransferase (ALT) concentrations (defined as ALT>19 U/l) after excluding other secondary causes of liver disease (alcohol, virus, and medications). Insulin sensitivity was measured by euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp. Results: Insulin sensitivity was markedly decreased (p<0.001) in PCOS women with abnormal ALT levels, whereas it was similar between PCOS women with normal ALT levels and matched healthy controls (8.3+/-2.5 vs 12.1+/-1.7 vs 13.2+/-1.8 mg/min x kg of fat-free mass, respectively). PCOS women with abnormal ALT levels also had higher plasma triglycerides and lower HDL-cholesterol concentrations than those with PCOS alone. There was a strong inverse association between serum ALT levels and insulin sensitivity in the whole group of PCOS women. (r=-0.59, p=0.0013). Conclusions: Abnormal serum ALT levels, as surrogate measure of NAFLD, are closely associated with impaired insulin sensitivity in young PCOS women in a manner that is independent from the contribution of age and total adiposity. Early recognition of NAFLD by radiological imaging tests in this group of young patients is warranted. (J. Endocrinol. Invest. 32: 695-700, 2009) (C) 2009, Editrice Kurtis

Publication metadata

Author(s): Targher G, Solagna E, Tosi F, Castello R, Spiazzi G, Zoppini G, Muggeo M, Day CP, Moghetti P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

Year: 2009

Volume: 32

Issue: 8

Pages: 695-700

ISSN (print): 0391-4097

ISSN (electronic): 1720-8386

Publisher: Editrice Kurtis s.r.l.


DOI: 10.3275/6375


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