Elevated gamma-glutamyl transferase is associated with subclinical inflammation independent of cardiometabolic risk factors in an asymptomatic population: A cross-sectional study

Shozab S. Ali, Ebenezer T. Oni, Michael J. Blaha, Emir Veledar, Hamid R. Feiz, Theodore Feldman, Arthur S. Agatston, Roger S. Blumenthal, Raquel D. Conceicao, Jose A.M. Carvalho, Raul D. Santos, Khurram Nasir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Serum Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase (GGT), a marker of oxidative stress, has been suggested to be independently associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) events. We examined the association of serum GGT levels with the burden of subclinical inflammation across a spectrum of metabolic conditions. Methods: We evaluated 5,446 asymptomatic subjects (43 ± 10 years, 78 % males) who had an employer-sponsored physical between 2008 and 2010. Highly sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) was measured as a marker of underlying systemic inflammation. A linear regression of GGT quartiles with log transformed hsCRP and a multivariate logistic regression of GGT quartiles with elevated hsCRP (≥3 mg/L) were performed. Results: Median GGT was 31 IU/l (IQR: 22-45 IU/l), 1025 (19 %) had hsCRP ≥ 3 mg/L. The median hsCRP increased with GGT quartiles (Q1: 0.9 mg/L, Q2: 1.1 mg/L, Q3: 1.4 mg/L, Q4: 1.6 mg/L, p < 0.001). Linear regression models showed GGT in the fourth quartile was associated with 0.45 mg/L (95 % CI 0.35, 0.54, p < 0.001) increase in log transformed hsCRP adjusting for risk factors. The Odds Ratio (OR) for an elevated hsCRP (≥3 mg/L) also increased with higher GGT quartiles; GGT Q2 1.44 (95 % CI 1.12, 1.85), GGT Q3 1.89 (95 % CI 1.45, 2.46), GGT Q4 2.22 (95 % CI 1.67, 2.95), compared to GGT Q1. The strength of association increased in the presence of and combination of metabolic conditions. Conclusion: In our cohort of asymptomatic individuals a higher serum GGT level was independently associated with increased burden of subclinical inflammation across metabolic states. These findings may explain GGT association with increased CVD risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalNutrition and Metabolism
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 18 2016

Keywords

  • C-reactive protein
  • Gamma-glutamyl transferase
  • Subclinical inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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