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Gastroenterology. 2008 Apr;134(4):953-9. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.01.037. Epub 2008 Jan 18.

Parental obesity and offspring serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferase levels: the Framingham heart study.

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Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.

Erratum in

  • Gastroenterology. 2008 Sep;135(3):1017.



Obesity is an important correlate of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels. We sought to examine the relations between parental obesity and the serum ALT and AST levels among offspring in a community-based sample.


Participants (n = 1732) of the Framingham Offspring Study (50% women; mean age, 42 years) who had serum ALT and AST measurements and both parents in the original Framingham cohort were studied. Study participants were grouped into early-onset parental obesity (n = 193) (at least one parent obese), later-onset parental obesity (n = 460), and no parental obesity (n = 1079) subgroups. The association between elevated ALT or AST levels and parental obesity was tested using generalized estimating equations to account for familial correlations.


In multivariable analysis including adjustment for offspring obesity, significantly higher ALT levels were observed among individuals with paternal early-onset obesity as compared with those without paternal obesity (P = .02). Offspring with early-onset paternal obesity were more likely to have elevated ALT levels compared with those without paternal obesity (odds ratio, 1.75; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-2.89; P = .03). There was no association with elevated ALT levels among offspring with maternal early-onset obesity (odds ratio, 1.10; 95% confidence interval, 0.76-1.59; P = .61). There was no association between parental obesity and serum AST levels.


Early-onset paternal obesity, but not maternal obesity, increases the odds of elevated serum ALT levels in offspring, suggesting a predisposition to developing elevated serum ALT levels that may be mediated through familial early-onset obesity.

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