Serum Levels of Alanine Aminotransferase Decrease With Age in Longitudinal Analysis

Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.
Clinical gastroenterology and hepatology: the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association (Impact Factor: 6.53). 03/2012; 10(3):285-90.e1. DOI: 10.1016/j.cgh.2011.10.014
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An increased level of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a marker of liver injury. The mean ALT level has been reported to decrease with age; we performed a longitudinal analysis to determine whether serum levels of ALT changes with age among community-dwelling, older adults in the US.
We analyzed clinical data from 2 cohorts of individuals who participated in the Rancho Bernardo Study, in Southern CA. The first cohort comprised 1073 community-dwelling participants (59% women); clinical data was collected from 1984-1987 and 1992-1997. The second cohort comprised 416 participants (64% women); data was collected from 1984-1987, 1992-1997, and 1997-1999. Demographic, metabolic covariates, ALT, bilirubin, and albumin were measured. Changes in individual ALT over time were examined in unadjusted and multivariable-adjusted linear and logistic regression analyses.
At the baseline visit, the patients' mean age was 65.7 years and body mass index was 24.9 kg/m(2). In cohort 1, the mean levels of ALT decreased with age by 10% (from 21 to 19 IU/L) between the time periods of 1984-1987 and 1992-1997 (P < .0001). In cohort 2, they decreased by 20% (from 20 to 16 IU/L) between the time periods of 1984-1987 and 1997-1999 (P < .0001). Categorically-defined increases in ALT also decreased with age (P < .0001). Results remained consistent in sex-specific analyses and after adjusting for metabolic syndrome components, alcohol use, bilirubin, and serum levels of albumin (P < .0001).
In a longitudinal analysis, we observed that levels of ALT decrease with age, independent of sex, metabolic factors, alcohol use, and results from commonly used liver function tests (bilirubin and albumin). When interpreting serum levels of ALT, physicians should consider patients' age especially in the elderly.


Available from: Ricki Bettencourt, May 28, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objective: To identify and characterize drug-induced liver injury (DILI) associated with IFN-β in multiple sclerosis (MS) using recommended criteria. Methods: This retrospective, mixed methods design included a cohort of IFN-β exposed MS patients from British Columbia (BC), Canada and a series of DILI cases from other Canadian provinces and two adverse drug reaction (ADR) networks (USA and Sweden). Associations between sex, age and IFN-β product, and DILI were explored in BC cohort using Cox proportional hazard analyses. Characteristics, including the time to DILI, were compared between sites. Results: In BC, 18/942 (1.9%) of IFN-β exposed MS patients met criteria for DILI, with a trend toward an increased risk for women and those exposed to IFN-β-1a SC (44 mcg 3 × weekly) (adjusted Hazard Ratios: 3.15;95% CI:0.72 - 13.72, p = 0.13 and 6.26;95%CI:0.78 - 50.39, p = 0.08, respectively). Twenty-four additional cases were identified from other sites; the median time to DILI was comparable between BC and other Canadian cases (105 and 90 days, respectively), but longer for the ADR network cases (590 days, p = 0.006). Conclusions: Approximately 1 in 50 IFN-β exposed patients developed DILI in BC, Canada. Identification of DILI cases from diverse sources highlighted that this reaction occurs even after years of exposure.
    Expert Opinion on Drug Safety 08/2014; 13(10):1-13. DOI:10.1517/14740338.2014.947958 · 2.74 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Measurement of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a common, readily available, and inexpensive laboratory assay in clinical practice. ALT activity is not only measured to detect liver disease, but also to monitor overall health. ALT activity is influenced by various factors, including viral hepatitis, alcohol consumption, and medication. Recently, the impact of metabolic abnormalities on ALT variation has raised concern due to the worldwide obesity epidemic. The normal ranges for ALT have been updated and validated considering the metabolic covariates in the various ethnic districts. The interaction between metabolic and demographic factors on ALT variation has also been discussed in previous studies. In addition, an extremely low ALT value might reflect the process of aging, and frailty in older adults has been raised as another clinically significant feature of this enzyme, to be followed with additional epidemiologic investigation. Timely updated, comprehensive, and systematic introduction of ALT activity is necessary to aid clinicians make better use of this enzyme.
    International journal of medical sciences 06/2014; 11(9):925-935. DOI:10.7150/ijms.8951 · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To asses liver markers in older patients with hip fracture (HF) in relation to age, comorbidities, metabolic characteristics and short-term outcomes. In 294 patients with HF (mean age 82.0±7.9 years, 72.1% women) serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT), gammaglutamyltransferase (GGT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), albumin, bilirubin, 25(OH)vitaminD, PTH, calcium, phosphate, magnesium, adiponectin, leptin, resistin, thyroid function and cardiac troponin I were measured. Elevated ALT, GGT, ALP or bilirubin levels on admission were observed in 1.7% - 9.9% of patients. With age GGT, ALT and leptin decrease, while PTH and adiponectin concentrations increase. Higher GGT (>30U/L, median level) was associated with coronary artery disease (CAD), diabetes mellitus (DM), and alcohol overuse; lower ALT (≤20U/L, median level) with dementia; total bilirubin >20μmol/L with CAD and alcohol overuse; and albumin >33g/L with CAD. Multivariate adjusted regression analyses revealed ALT, ALP, adiponectin, alcohol overuse and DM as independent and significant determinants of GGT (as continuous or categorical variable); GGT for each other liver marker; and PTH for adiponectin. The risk of prolonged hospital stay (>20 days) was about two times higher in patients with GGT>30U/L or adiponectin >17.14 ng/L (median level) and 4.7 times higher if both conditions coexisted. The risk of in-hospital death was 3 times higher if albumin was <33g/L. In older HF patients liver markers even within the normal range are associated with age-related disorders and outcomes. Adiponectin (but not 25(OH)vitaminD, PTH, leptin or resistin) is an independent contributor to higher GGT. Serum GGT and albumin predict prolonged hospital stay and in-hospital death, respectively. A unifying hypothesis of the findings presented.