Prevalence of elevated liver enzymes and their association with type 2 diabetes risk factors in children

Victor Lin, Tyler Hamby, Siddharth Das, Amritpaul Chatrath, Riyaz Basha, Kimberly G. Fulda, Nusrath Habiba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: Given their established role in hepatic function and insulin resistance for adults, early screening of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the pediatric population may potentially be improved by the assessment of elevated liver enzymes. Methods: Our study enrolled 151 nondiabetic children aged 10–14 years. Patients were assessed for demographics and five risk factors for T2DM. The levels of γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels were determined in serum samples. The effects of demographics and risk factors on abnormal liver enzyme levels were assessed with univariate chi-square analyses and also with multivariate logistic regression analyses, which were controlled for gender. Results: Frequencies for abnormal liver enzyme values were as follows: 13 (9%) for GGT, 5 (3%) for ALT, and 20 (13%) for ALP. Across analyses, two results were consistently statistically significant. Females were more likely to have abnormal ALP levels, and patients with BMI percentile ≥95% and with acanthosis nigricans were more likely to have abnormal GGT levels. Conclusions: Our study suggests GGT as potential marker for T2DM discovery in children. Subsequent long-term longitudinal studies would help to more clearly delineate GGT’s association with T2DM. Additionally, future studies that elucidate the molecular contribution of GGT elevation to T2DM pathogenesis are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)707-711
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021


  • Liver enzymes
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Pediatrics
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus


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