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New upper limit defined for normal ALT in adolescent males
Date:12/3/2007

A new cohort study of adolescent offenders in Australia has identified an upper limit for ALT that is more sensitive for the diagnosis of liver disease. The findings could facilitate targeted interventions for the youths in this group, who are at high risk for HCV infection and obesity-related liver disease. The study is in the December issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology).

Few studies have examined the liver health of at-risk adolescents, or reported associations between liver biochemistry and hepatitis C virus or metabolic liver disease. Researchers Dr David van der Poorten and Professors Dianna Kenny and Jacob George of Sydney University, analyzed data from a large cohort of young male offenders under supervision by the New South Wales Department of Juvenile Justice in Australia, who took part in a comprehensive health study, funded by the Australian Research Council, NSW Department of Juvenile Justice and Justice Health. The researchers sought to create a new definition for the normal upper limit of liver biochemistry; to define the associations and implications of raised ALT; and to understand the risk factors and associations with hepatitis C.

They examined the results of liver tests and lipid studies from blood samples of 439 young male offenders serving community orders who agreed to participate in the health survey between October 2003 and December 2005. They also considered clinical, demographic, and lifestyle data and performed statistical analyses to determine relevant associations.

They determined the upper limit of normal for liver enzymes using the liver tests of the participants at lowest risk of liver disease. These young men had norma
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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