It has been determined that there is a relationship between obesity and liver function. Purpose: the aim of this study is to analyze the relationship between obesity and liver function in a group of children.
Methods: the study was based on data obtained from 692 boys and 675 girls aged 0 to 15 years that visited the clinic in South Texas from 2000 to 2003. Children were classified according with the CDC BMI-for-age growth charts. Patients were classified also by age as stay home (SH) 0.5 to 3.99 years, elementary school (ES) 4 to to 11.99 years, Middle school (MS) 12 to 14.99 years and High school (HS) more than 15 years. Liver function was measured with the following enzymes alanine amino transferase (ALT), serum aspartate amino transferase (AST), and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Analysis of variance was used for the analysis.
Results: there was a difference between obese and normal children for ALT (n = 45.18±0.83 IU/L vs. 38.87±1.09 IU/L, p<0.05). There were no differences for ALP or AST between obese and normal children. AST levels were higher in boys when compared with girls (n=691, 30.84±0.479 IU/L vs. n=675, 27.91±0.49 IU/L, p<0.05). ALT levels were higher in boys when compared with girls (n=691, 45.29± IU/L, n= 675, 39.30±0.66 IU/L, P<0.05). There was no difference for levels of ALP between boys and girls. There was a decrease of ALP levels with age when children are classified as SH, ES, MS, and HS (n = 288, 327.29±27.16 IU/L; n=791, 291.36±2.69 IU/L; n=151, 261.27±9.17 IU/L; n=134, 139.73±6.30 IU/L; p<0.05). There was a decrease of AST levels with age when children are classified as SH, ES, MS, and HS (n=288, 35.66±0.53 IU/L; n=791, 29.25±0.45 IU/L; n=151, 25.40±1.23 IU/L, n=134, 29.91±0.87, p<0.05).
Conclusions: obesity represents an important factor that affects ALT levels. ALT is directly related with BMI percentile. Boys have higher levels of liver enzymes than girls. As children attend school and leave home ALP and AST levels decrease.
The research was approved by TAMIU IRB with ID number #2012-01-13.
F.G. Quintana: None. J.A. Cadena: None. F.J. Cervantes-Gonzalez: None.