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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e48878. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048878. Epub 2012 Nov 7.

Gamma-glutamyltransferase level and risk of hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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Department of Geriatrics, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.

Erratum in

  • PLoS One. 2013;8(5). doi:10.1371/annotation/8015aa06-f752-4a7e-ba31-4fcc1ea50b6c.



Several prospective observational studies suggest that gamma-glutamyltransferase(GGT) level is positively associated with risk of hypertension. However, these studies draw inconsistent conclusions. Therefore, we conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the exact association between GGT level and subsequent development of hypertension.


We searched Pubmed, Embase, and Science Citation Index (ISI Web of Science) for prospective cohort studies examining the association between GGT level and hypertension. Then, pooled effect estimates (RRs) for the association between GGT level and hypertension were calculated.


A total of 13 prospective cohort studies including 43314 participants and 5280 cases of hypertension were included. The pooled RR of hypertension was 1.94(95%CI: 1.55-2.43; P<0.001) when comparing the risk of hypertension between the highest versus lowest category of GGT levels. Moreover, the risk of hypertension increased by 23% (summary RR: 1.23; 95%CI: 1.13-1.32; P<0.001) per 1 SD logGGT increment. Subgroup analyses showed significant positive associations in each subgroup except in ≧160/95 subgroup (RR: 2.56, 95%CI: 0.87-7.54; P = 0.088) and nondrinkers subgroup (RR: 1.76, 95%CI: 0.88-3.53; P = 0.113). Sensitivity analyses showed no single study significantly affects the pooled RRs. No publication bias was found in our meta-analysis.


GGT level is positively associated with the development of hypertension. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and elucidate the exact mechanisms between GGT level and the incidence of hypertension.

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