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Abnormal liver tests associated with increased death rates in people over 75
Date:8/2/2011

rubin and 3.3% had abnormal AST.

  • Patients with elevated AST measurements tended to be younger and there was an association with alcohol consumption of more than seven units in the previous week. Patients with elevated ALP tended to be older and report lower alcohol consumption.

  • Diabetes and dementia were associated with increased AST and ALP and a history of heart attacks with raised ALP. Men were more likely to have increased bilirubin as were people who had never smoked.

  • Abnormal AST was associated with a sevenfold increased risk of death from liver disease and a 56% increase in cancer risk. However, only 1.8% of the subjects with an abnormal AST died from liver disease during the follow-up period.

  • Abnormal ALP was associated with nearly a six-fold increased risk of death from liver disease. It also raised the risk of death from a number of other illnesses: heart disease (34%), cancer (61%) and respiratory disease (58%). Only 1% of the patients with an abnormal ALP died from liver disease during the follow-up period.

  • Abnormal bilirubin was associated with a small 15% increase in death risk, following adjustment for factors such as age, gender, other health issues, smoking status, alcohol intake and waist-hip ratio.

  • Patients who had two or more elevated liver tests faced a 54% increased risk of all-cause mortality and the risk of dying from cancer doubled. They were 17 times more likely to die from liver disease than patients with no abnormal liver tests.

    "Our study shows that abnormal liver tests are common in elderly people, but are only associated with a modest increase in deaths from all causes, with specific reference to liver disease, cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease" says Dr Fleming.

    "There is currently no evidence that a single abnormal and isolated measurement of AST, ALP or bilirubin leads to an overwhelming increase in death ra
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  • Contact: Annette Whibley
    annette.wizard@gmail.com
    Wiley-Blackwell
    Source:Eurekalert

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