Elevated transaminase levels among overweight adolescents in eastern China

Zumin Shi, Wenying Chen, Anne Taylor, Alastair Burt

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Aim: We aim to investigate the prevalence and correlates of suspected nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among adolescents in eastern China. Methods: The study uses data from the annual health examination among all students finishing high school who applied for university entrance in Changzhou City between 2012 and 2014 (n = 19 162). Suspected NAFLD was defined as overweight plus elevated alanine aminotransferase levels (males >25.8 U/L; females >22.1 U/L). Results: The prevalence of suspected NAFLD was 6.9% (11.1% in males and 2.6% in females). Students from medium and high socio-economic status (SES) schools had a higher prevalence of suspected NAFLD than those from low SES schools. Prehypertension had similar odds ratios (ORs, above four) for suspected NAFLD in both genders. The positive association between impaired fasting glucose/diabetes and suspected NAFLD was stronger in females than males. Compared with those born in autumn, these born in spring (OR 1.39; 95% CI, 1.16–1.67) and winter (OR 1.24; 95% CI, 1.04–1.49) had increased odds to have suspected NAFLD in males but not in females. Conclusion: Suspected NAFLD was prevalent among urban university applicants especially in males and those of high SES. Prehypertension was positively related to suspected NAFLD. Season of birth was related to suspected NAFLD in males but not in females.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e593-e599
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Dec 2016


  • Adolescents
  • Chinese
  • Prevalence
  • Suspected nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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