Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Metabolic Syndrome Linked To Liver Disease In Obese Teenaged Boys

Date:
September 30, 2009
Source:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Summary:
Researchers studying a large sample of adolescent American boys have found an association between metabolic syndrome, which is a complication of obesity, and elevated liver enzymes that mark potentially serious liver disease. Among non-Hispanic adolescent boys, this association occurred independent of obesity, suggesting the presence of further, unknown risk factors -- and possibly other treatments yet to be discovered for this type of liver disease.

Researchers studying a large sample of adolescent American boys have found an association between metabolic syndrome, which is a complication of obesity, and elevated liver enzymes that mark potentially serious liver disease.

Related Articles


The link between metabolic syndrome and the suspected liver disease did not appear in adolescent girls, said study leader Rose C. Graham, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. There were ethnic differences among the boys as well, she added, between Hispanic and non-Hispanic males.

The study appears in the October 2009 print edition of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Metabolic syndrome is of concern as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, and is estimated to occur in 22 percent of U.S. adults and 4 percent of U.S. adolescents. It is defined by insulin resistance, increased waist circumference, high blood pressure, and abnormal measures of high density lipoprotein ("good cholesterol") and triglycerides in the blood. The criteria are similar for pediatric metabolic syndrome, although there is some dispute over details of the definition.

In adults, researchers have shown an association between metabolic syndrome and a group of diseases called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which at its most severe, may progress to irreversible liver damage. The purpose of the current study was to investigate to what extent metabolic syndrome in adolescents was associated with elevated levels of the liver enzyme alanine aminotransferase (ALT), a marker of NAFLD.

Graham and colleagues analyzed a nationally representative sample of 1,323 U.S. adolescents, aged 12 to 19, from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They found a strong association between metabolic syndrome and elevated ALT levels in adolescent males, but not in adolescent females.

While looking more carefully at this association in boys, they found that among Hispanic males, this association largely coincided with being obese, as measured by body mass index. The researchers expected to find this correlation, because for all ethnicities, obesity was already known to be a risk factor for both metabolic syndrome and NAFLD. However, they also found that among non-Hispanic adolescent boys, metabolic syndrome and high ALT levels were associated with each other, independent of obesity. "Something else seems to be going on, in addition to the effects of obesity," said Graham. "Some unknown factors may be at work here."

The finding may have implications for treatment, she added. Currently, the only known treatment for NAFLD is weight loss. "If some adolescents with metabolic syndrome may be susceptible to this liver disease regardless of whether or not they are obese, there may be other treatments yet to be discovered."

NAFLD is increasingly being recognized among overweight teenagers. "Our findings suggest that NAFLD in adolescents merits closer attention, and its treatment may require more than just weight loss," said Graham.

The National Institutes of Health provided grant support for Graham and another investigator of this study. Graham's co-authors were Nicolas Stettler, M.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia; and Ann Burke, of the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Metabolic Syndrome Linked To Liver Disease In Obese Teenaged Boys." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929151922.htm>.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (2009, September 30). Metabolic Syndrome Linked To Liver Disease In Obese Teenaged Boys. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929151922.htm
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Metabolic Syndrome Linked To Liver Disease In Obese Teenaged Boys." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090929151922.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

WFP: Ebola Risks Heightened Among Women Throughout Africa

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Having children has always been a frightening prospect in Sierra Leone, the world's most dangerous place to give birth, but Ebola has presented an alarming new threat for expectant mothers. Duration: 00:37 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

Raw: Paralyzed Marine Walks With Robotic Braces

AP (Nov. 21, 2014) Marine Corps officials say a special operations officer left paralyzed by a sniper's bullet in Afghanistan walked using robotic leg braces in a ceremony to award him a Bronze Star. (Nov. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins