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    Although the association between alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels and risk of type 2 diabetes is well-studied, the effects of slightly increased ALT levels within the normal range on the temporal normal glucose profile remains poorly understood. A total of 322 Chinese subjects without impaired glucose tolerance or previous diagnoses of diabetes were recruited for study from 10 hospitals in urban areas across China. All subjects wore a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) system for three consecutive days. The diurnal (06∶00-20∶00) and nocturnal (20∶00-06∶00) mean blood glucose (MBG) levels were calculated. Subjects were stratified by ALT quartile level and correlation analyses were performed. The median ALT level was 17 IU/L, and subjects with ALT ≥17 IU/L had higher nocturnal MBG level than those with ALT <17 IU/L (P<0.05). Nocturnal MBG was positively correlated with ALT levels (Pearson correlation analysis: r = 0.187, P = 0.001), and the correlation remained significant after correction for the homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR) (r = 0.105, P = 0.041). No correlations were found between diurnal MBG and ALT, and nocturnal or diurnal MBG and aspartate aminotransferase or gamma-glutamyltransferase (all, P>0.05). Multivariate stepwise regression analysis of elevated nocturnal MBG identified increased HOMA-IR, elevated ALT levels, and decreased homeostatic model assessment of ß-cell function as independent factors (all, P<0.05). Mildly elevated ALT levels, within the normal range, are associated with unfavorable nocturnal glucose profiles in Chinese subjects with normal glucose regulation.


    Jian Zhou, Yifei Mo, Hong Li, Xingwu Ran, Wenying Yang, Qiang Li, Yongde Peng, Yanbing Li, Xin Gao, Xiaojun Luan, Weiqing Wang, Weiping Jia. Alanine aminotransferase is associated with an adverse nocturnal blood glucose profile in individuals with normal glucose regulation. PloS one. 2013;8(2):e56072

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    PMID: 23424646

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