Paternal Obesity Linked to Liver Injury

April 9, 2008

Early-onset paternal, but not maternal, obesity is associated with a higher risk of having high levels of alanine aminotransferase, a marker of liver injury associated with obesity, researchers report in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

WEDNESDAY, April 9 (HealthDay News) -- Early-onset paternal, but not maternal, obesity is associated with a higher risk of having high levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), a marker of liver injury associated with obesity, researchers report in the April issue of Gastroenterology.

Rohit Loomba, M.D., from the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md., and colleagues determined whether serum ALT and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were affected by having at least one obese parent in 1,732 individuals. Of these, 193 had early-onset parental obesity, 460 had later-onset parental obesity and 1,079 had no parental obesity.

The researchers found that after adjusting for a number of variables, there was a significantly higher risk of elevated ALT levels associated with paternal early-onset obesity (odds ratio 1.75) but not maternal early-onset obesity (OR, 1.10). Serum AST levels were not associated with parental obesity.

"Early-onset paternal obesity, but not maternal obesity, increases the odds of elevated serum ALT levels in offspring, suggesting a predisposition to developing elevated serum ALT levels that may be mediated through familial early-onset obesity," Loomba and colleagues conclude.

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