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Alanine aminotransferase elevation varies by ethnicity among Asian and Pacific Islander children with overweight or obesity

Limited research on alanine aminotransferase (ALT) screening for metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) among US Asian/Pacific Islander (PI) children necessitates investigation in this heterogeneous population. Examine ALT elevation among Asian/PI children with overweight or obesity. Elevated ALT prevalence (clinical threshold) and association with body mass index ≥85th percentile were compared among 18 402 Asian/PI and 25 376 non-Hispanic White (NHW) children aged 9-17 years using logistic regression. ALT elevation was more prevalent among Asian/PI (vs. NHW) males with overweight (4.0% vs. 2.7%), moderate (7.8% vs. 5.3%) and severe obesity (16.6% vs. 11.5%), and females with moderate (5.1% vs. 3.0%) and severe obesity (10.2% vs. 5.2%). Adjusted odds of elevated ALT were 1.6-fold and ~2-fold higher for Asian/PI (vs. NHW) males and females (with obesity), respectively. Filipino, Chinese and Southeast Asian males had 1.7-2.1-fold higher odds, but Native Hawaiian/PI (NHPI) and South Asian males did not significantly differ (vs. NHW). Filipina and Chinese females with obesity had >2-fold higher odds, Southeast and South Asian females did not differ and NHPI findings were mixed (vs. NHW). High elevated ALT prevalence among Asian/PI children with overweight and obesity emphasizes the need for MASLD risk assessment and examination of ethnic subgroups.

Authors: Lee, Catherine;Schwimmer, Jeffrey B;Gunderson, Erica P;Goyal, Nidhi P;Darbinian, Jeanne A;Greenspan, Louise C;Lo, Joan C

Pediatr Obes. 2024 Mar 05:e13110.

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