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1.  Alanine aminotransferase/aspartate aminotransferase ratio is the best surrogate marker for insulin resistance in non-obese Japanese adults 
Background
The aim of the present study was to examine how liver markers are associated with insulin resistance in Japanese community-dwelling adults.
Methods
This cross-sectional study included 587 men aged 58 ± 14 (mean ± standard deviation; range, 20–89) years and 755 women aged 60 ± 12 (range, 21–88) years. The study sample consisted of 998 (74.4%) non-obese [body mass index (BMI) <25.0 kg/m2] and 344 (25.6%) overweight (BMI ≥25 kg/m2) subjects. Insulin resistance was defined by homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) of at least 2.5, and HOMA-IR and potential confounders were compared between the groups. Areas under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) were used to compare the power of these serum markers.
Results
In non-obese subjects, the best marker of insulin resistance was alanine aminotransferase (ALT)/aspartate aminotransferase (AST) ratio of 0.70 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.63-0.77). In overweight subjects, AUC values for the ALT/AST ratio and ALT were 0.66 (0.59-0.72) and 0.66 (0.59-0.72), respectively. Multiple linear regression analyses for HOMA-IR showed that ALT/AST ratios were independently and significantly associated with HOMA-IR as well as other confounding factors in both non-obese and overweight subjects. The optimal cut-off point to identifying insulin resistance for these markers yielded the following values: ALT/AST ratio of ≥0.82 in non-obese subjects and ≥1.02 in overweight subjects. In non-obese subjects, the positive likelihood ratio was greatest for ALT/AST ratio.
Conclusions
In non-obese Japanese adults, ALT/AST ratio may be the best reliable marker of insulin resistance.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-117
PMCID: PMC3499385  PMID: 23020992
ALT/AST ratio; Insulin resistance; Marker; Body mass index
2.  Uric acid is an independent risk factor for carotid atherosclerosis in a Japanese elderly population without metabolic syndrome 
Background
Carotid intima-media thickness (IMT) is an useful surrogate marker of cardiovascular disease. Associations between uric acid (UA), metabolic syndrome (MetS) and carotid IMT have been reported, but findings regarding the relationship have been inconsistent.
Methods
A total of 1,579 Japanese elderly subjects aged ≥65 years {663 men aged, 78 ± 8 (mean ± standard deviation) years and 916 women aged 79 ± 8 years} were divided into 4 groups according to UA quartiles. We first investigated the association between UA concentrations and confounding factors including MetS; then, we assessed whether there is an independent association of UA with carotid IMT and atherosclerosis in participants subdivided according to gender and MetS status.
Results
Carotid IMT was significantly increased according to the quartiles of UA in both genders without MetS and women with MetS. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that odds ratio (OR) {95% confidence interval (CI)} in men for carotid atherosclerosis was significantly increased in the third (OR, 1.75; 95% CI, 1.02-3.02), and fourth quartiles (OR, 2.01; 95% CI, 1.12-3.60) of UA compared with that in the first quartile of UA, and the OR in women was significantly increased in the fourth quartile (OR, 2.10; 95% CI, 1.30-3.39). Similarly, the ORs were significantly associated with increasing quartiles of UA in both genders without MetS, but not necessarily increased in those with MetS.
Conclusions
UA was found to be an independent risk factor for incidence of carotid atherosclerosis in both genders without MetS.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-11-2
PMCID: PMC3293733  PMID: 22234039
uric acid; metabolic syndrome; carotid atherosclerosis; cardiovascular risk factor; gender
3.  Association between fasting plasma glucose and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein: gender differences in a Japanese community-dwelling population 
Background
High sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) is an acute phase reactant and a sensitive marker of inflammation. Hyperglycemia can potentially promote the production of CRP. The aim of this study was to determine whether increased fasting plasma glucose (FPG) levels are associated with elevated hsCRP concentrations by gender.
Methods
We recruited 822 men (mean age, 61 ± 14 years) and 1,097 women (63 ± 12 years) during their annual health examination from a single community. We cross-sectionally examined whether FPG levels are associated with hsCRP concentrations, and whether this association is independent of gender, body mass index (BMI) and other components of the metabolic syndrome.
Results
In women only, hsCRP increased significantly and progressively with increasing FPG (r = 0.169, P < 0.001). The stepwise multiple linear regression analysis using hsCRP as an objective variable, adjusted for confounding factors as explanatory variables, showed that FPG as well as age, BMI, systolic blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), uric acid, and high molecular weight adiponectin were significantly associated with hsCRP in women, but not in men. There was significant gender interaction, and an increase in hsCRP levels that was greater in women with BMI ≥ 25 kg/m2 and higher FPG than in men.
Conclusions
These results suggested that hsCRP levels increase continuously across the FPG spectrum starting from the lowest FPG in both men and women. However, increase in hsCRP levels was greater in women than men.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-10-51
PMCID: PMC3135517  PMID: 21663637
C-reactive protein; fasting plasma glucose; type 2 diabetes; gender interaction; risk factor
4.  High-sensitivity c-reactive protein and gamma-glutamyl transferase levels are synergistically associated with metabolic syndrome in community-dwelling persons 
Background
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is associated with an increased risk of major cardiovascular events. Increased high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels are associated with MetS and its components. Changes in gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT) levels in response to oxidative stress are also associated with MetS, and the levels could be modulated by hsCRP.
Methods
From a single community, we recruited 822 men (mean age, 61 ± 14 years) and 1,097 women (63 ± 12 years) during their annual health examination. We investigated whether increased hsCRP and GGT levels are synergistically associated with MetS and insulin resistance evaluated by Homeostasis of model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR).
Results
Of these subjects, 141 men (17.2%) and 170 women (15.5%) had MetS. Participants with MetS had a higher hsCRP and GGT level than those without MetS in both genders, and the HOMA-IR increased significantly in correlation with an increase in hsCRP and GGT. In men, the adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence interval) for MetS across tertiles of hsCRP and GGT were 1.00, 1.69 (1.01-2.80), and 2.13 (1.29-3.52), and 1.00, 3.26 (1.84-5.78) and 6.11 (3.30-11.3), respectively. In women, the respective corresponding values were 1.00, 1.54 (0.92-2.60), and 3.08 (1.88-5.06), and 1.00, 1.70 (1.04-2.79) and 2.67 (1.66-4.30). The interaction between increased hsCRP and GGT was a significant and independent determinant for MetS and insulin resistance in both genders.
Conclusions
These results suggested that higher CRP and GGT levels were synergistically associated with MetS and insulin resistance, independently of other confounding factor in the general population.
doi:10.1186/1475-2840-9-87
PMCID: PMC3014885  PMID: 21143879

Results 1-4 (4)