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Hepatol Res. 2012 Oct;42(10):982-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2012.01014.x. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Fish to meat intake ratio and cooking oils are associated with hepatitis C virus carriers with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase levels.

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Departments of Clinical Nutrition Nutrition, Kurume University HospitalDepartments of Digestive Disease Information & Research Medicine Pediatric Surgery, Kurume University School of Medicine Biostatistics Center, Kurume University Department of Biostatistics, Kurume University Graduate School of Medicine, Kurume, Japan.



  Dietary habits are involved in the development of chronic inflammation; however, the impact of dietary profiles of hepatitis C virus carriers with persistently normal alanine transaminase levels (HCV-PNALT) remains unclear. The decision-tree algorithm is a data-mining statistical technique, which uncovers meaningful profiles of factors from a data collection. We aimed to investigate dietary profiles associated with HCV-PNALT using a decision-tree algorithm.


  Twenty-seven HCV-PNALT and 41 patients with chronic hepatitis C were enrolled in this study. Dietary habit was assessed using a validated semiquantitative food frequency questionnaire. A decision-tree algorithm was created by dietary variables, and was evaluated by area under the receiver operating characteristic curve analysis (AUROC).


  In multivariate analysis, fish to meat ratio, dairy product and cooking oils were identified as independent variables associated with HCV-PNALT. The decision-tree algorithm was created with two variables: a fish to meat ratio and cooking oils/ideal bodyweight. When subjects showed a fish to meat ratio of 1.24 or more, 68.8% of the subjects were HCV-PNALT. On the other hand, 11.5% of the subjects were HCV-PNALT when subjects showed a fish to meat ratio of less than 1.24 and cooking oil/ideal bodyweight of less than 0.23 g/kg. The difference in the proportion of HCV-PNALT between these groups are significant (odds ratio 16.87, 95% CI 3.40-83.67, P = 0.0005). Fivefold cross-validation of the decision-tree algorithm showed an AUROC of 0.6947 (95% CI 0.5656-0.8238, P = 0.0067).


  The decision-tree algorithm disclosed that fish to meat ratio and cooking oil/ideal bodyweight were associated with HCV-PNALT.

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