Abnormal liver function associated with risk for diabetes

Changes in liver enzyme and fasting plasma glucose levels in an employee cohort were related and showed links to diabetes, according to data from a recent study.

Researchers in South Korea conducted a study of 9,393 semiconductor workers (mean age, 32 years; 88.9% men) who underwent three cycles of health examinations. None of the participants had a history of viral hepatitis, liver disease, abnormal liver function or diabetes. Follow-up duration between the first and last examination was 73 months. Fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels were elevated among men and associated with age, smoking, alcohol consumption (P<.01 for all).

Participants were divided into four groups; Groups one and four were stationary groups with normal liver enzyme levels at the first and second health examinations (G1) and abnormal levels in the first and second health check-up (G4). Groups two and three were altered groups of those with abnormal liver enzyme levels in the first examination that normalized in the second examination (G2), and from normal liver enzyme level to an abnormal level (G3). Group four had the greatest level of FPG compared with the other groups which ascended from G1 to G3.

In statistical analysis, estimates of elevation to FPG at the last health screening, covariates including sex, age, BMI, diet pattern, drinking frequency, smoking status, physical activity and systolic blood pressure were determined through multiple linear regression by deriving the parameter estimate and its P value. All tests showed a significant two-sided P<.05.

FPG levels at the last health check-up were increased from G1 to G4 (P<.01)

“Abnormal liver function can be closely associated with the development of diabetes,” researchers said. “In order to prevent further diabetes burden in people with abnormal liver enzyme levels, health care professionals should monitor them carefully.”

Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.