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Dads' Early-Onset Obesity Linked to Liver Disease in Kids
Date:4/3/2008

ase (NAFLD), which is believed to be the most common cause of elevated ALT serum levels, which can lead to inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), scarring of the liver (cirrhosis), and liver cancer.

"Serum ALT elevations and NAFLD are more prevalent than ever in the U.S., though we don't know specifically what's causing the increase. Our results point to a genetic connection between early-onset paternal obesity and increased ALT levels," Fox said.

"This study is the first to look at the connection between parental early-onset obesity and elevated serum ALT levels in their children using objective clinical measurements of parental BMI instead of self-reports," study first author Dr. Rohit Loomba, of the Liver Diseases Branch of the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, said in a prepared statement.

"Though we are looking at a very specific, community-based sample in our work, the results suggest an association between elevated serum ALT levels and early-onset paternal obesity. Additional studies are needed to assess whether this connection suggests a genetic predisposition to developing liver disease in larger populations," Loomba said.

More information

The American Liver Foundation explains the progression of liver diseases.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: American Gastroenterological Association, news release, April 1, 2008


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