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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease common in obesity, is characterised by fatty infiltration to the liver and can progress to steatohepatitis. Inflammation is a predictor of metabolic disease, but the relationship between inflammation and liver disease is unclear. This study determines whether liver function enzymes are associated with markers of systemic inflammation. In a group of 249 overweight women, fasting blood samples were collected and analysed for insulin, glucose, lipids, C-reactive protein (CRIP), sialic acid (SA), alanine aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and γ-glutamyltransferase. SA and CRP were significant predictors of ALP concentrations, independent of metabolic syndrome features (β=0.35, p<0.0001 and β=0.20, p=0.004). SA and CRP showed significant incremental increases across groups based on the number of features of metabolic disease, which persisted after adjustment for body mass index (β=0.32, p<0.0001 and β=0.16, p=0.02). These data suggest that systemic inflammation is significantly associated with liver function markers, independent of other metabolic risk factors.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease

Publication Date





73 - 76