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Kumar S.,BYL Nair Ch Hospital and TN Medical College | Amarapurkar A.,BYL Nair Ch Hospital and TN Medical College | Amarapurkar D.,Bombay Hospital
Indian Journal of Medical Research

Background & objectives: Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level is most commonly used as a marker for the assessment of various liver diseases. Currently upper limits of normal for aspartate aminotransferase (AST) or ALT levels used are based on the western literature. This study was conducted to determine the ALT and AST levels in healthy blood donors from western India and to determine the relation with body mass index (BMI) and waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). Methods: A total of 5077 voluntary blood donors were selected with strict routine inclusion and exclusion criteria. Weight, height, BMI and WHR were determined along with AST and ALT levels. BMI and WHR were correlated with liver enzymes. Results: Of the 5077 donors, 160 were excluded due to positive serological results. In the remaining 4917 individuals, 4643 (94.4%) were males and 274 (5.6%) were females. Majority 3024 (61.5%) showed BMI more than 23 kg/m2. WHR > 0.85 and 0.80 was found in 4046 (87.0%) males and 250 (91.2%) females. Mean AST and ALT levels in males were 23.4 ± 9.9 IU/l and 27.0 ± 17.3 IU/l and in females 19.1 ± 9.8 IU/l and 17.7 ± 11.2 IU/l, respectively. With increase in BMI, there was a significant increase in AST and ALT levels. Similar increase was also seen with WHR. Interpretation & conclusions: Majority of voluntary blood donors showed high BMI and WHR which was directly related to AST and ALT levels. This study highlights the magnitude of obesity in general healthy population of western India and a need to revise the current normal limits of serum ALT. Source

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