Ethnicity and Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in an Obesity Clinic: The Impact of Triglycerides
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- Kallwitz, E.R., Kumar, M., Aggarwal, R. et al. Dig Dis Sci (2008) 53: 1358. doi:10.1007/s10620-008-0234-x
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a growing problem that is associated with the metabolic syndrome. The goal of the present study was to evaluate for ethnic differences in NAFLD and clinical correlates of NAFLD. The study population consisted of 567 patients seen at an urban obesity clinic. Elevated aminotransferase levels were used as a surrogate marker for NAFLD. The prevalence of elevated aminotransferases was highest in Hispanics (39%), followed by Caucasians (28%), and African Americans (12%). In univariate analysis, elevated aminotransferase levels were associated with ethnicity (Hispanic > African American, P < 0.001, and Caucasian > African American P = 0.030), hypertriglyceridemia (P < 0.001), and male gender (P < 0.001). The pattern of results was confirmed in multivariate analysis, except that the differences between Caucasians and African Americans was no longer significant. In conclusion, in an obesity clinic population, elevated aminotransferase levels and hypertriglyceridemia were most common in Hispanics and least common in African Americans.