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1.  Behavioral and clinical correlates of serum bilirubin concentrations in Japanese men and women 
Background
A considerable interest has been drawn to potential protective effects of bilirubin against oxidative stress-related diseases. Smoking is known to be associated with lower concentrations of serum bilirubin, but other behavioral correlates of serum bilirubin have not been well studied. In this cross-sectional study, we examined the associations of behavioral and clinical factors with serum total bilirubin in Japanese men and women.
Method
The study subjects comprised of 4802 men and 6414 women aged 49–76 years who participated in the baseline survey of an ongoing cohort study on lifestyle-related diseases in Fukuoka, Japan. With consideration to time of the day of blood sampling and fasting hours, the associations with smoking, alcohol intake, body mass index, physical activity, coffee, tea, blood pressure, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), HDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol with serum bilirubin were evaluated by analysis of covariance and multiple linear regression analysis.
Results
While smoking was negatively associated with serum bilirubin, alcohol consumption was positively associated with serum bilirubin in both men and women. Coffee consumption was associated with lower bilirubin concentrations in both sexes. In the multiple linear regression analysis, HDL cholesterol was positively and HbA1c was negatively associated with bilirubin in both men and women, and the associations were more evident in women.
Conclusion
Smoking, alcohol use and coffee consumption were important behavioral correlates of serum bilirubin in Japanese men and women. Serum HDL cholesterol was a measurable clinical correlate of bilirubin in women.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-13-39
PMCID: PMC3852517  PMID: 24090309
Bilirubin; Coffee; Smoking; Alcohol; High-density lipoprotein cholesterol
2.  No effect modification of serum bilirubin or coffee consumption on the association of gamma-glutamyltransferase with glycated hemoglobin in a cross-sectional study of Japanese men and women 
Background
Oxidative stress has been implicated in the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Bilirubin is a potent endogenous antioxidant, and coffee is a major source of exogenous antioxidants. Serum gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), a marker of oxidative stress, is a strong predictor of the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. This study evaluated the effect modification of bilirubin and coffee consumption on the association of serum GGT with glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and the combined effect of bilirubin and coffee on HbA1c concentrations.
Methods
The subjects were 4492 men and 6242 women aged 49–76 years who participated in the baseline survey of an on-going cohort study on lifestyle-related diseases in Fukuoka, Japan. Geometric means of HbA1c were examined according to quartile categories of GGT, with stratification by serum total bilirubin (≥ 0.6 mg/dL versus less in men and ≥ 0.5 mg/dL versus less in women) and coffee consumption (< 1, 1–3 and ≥ 4 cups of per day). Statistical adjustment was made for age, smoking, alcohol use and body mass index by using analysis of covariance.
Results
HbA1 concentrations increased progressively with increasing levels of GGT in both men and women. The increasing trend of HbA1c concentrations associated with GGT did not differ by either bilirubin status or coffee consumption. Both men and women with high bilirubin had consistently lower concentrations of HbA1c across the GGT quartiles. Higher coffee consumption was associated with lower concentrations of HbA1c in women with low bilirubin (trend P = 0.04), but not with high bilirubin (trend P = 0.37). There was no such association between coffee and HbA1c in men with either low or high bilirubin levels.
Conclusions
Bilirubin is possibly protective against deterioration of glucose metabolism. Further studies are needed regarding the combined effect of bilirubin and coffee on glucose metabolism.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-12-24
PMCID: PMC3509408  PMID: 23092212
3.  Waist circumference and insulin resistance: a cross-sectional study of Japanese men 
Background
Visceral obesity is positively related to insulin resistance. The nature of the relationship between waist circumference and insulin resistance has not been known in Japanese populations. This study examined the relationship between waist circumference and insulin resistance and evaluated the optimal cutoff point for waist circumference in relation to insulin resistance in middle-aged Japanese men.
Methods
Study subjects included 4800 Japanese men aged 39 to 60 years. Insulin resistance was evaluated by the homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). The relationship of waist circumference with HOMA-IR was assessed by use of adjusted means of HOMA-IR and odds ratios of elevated HOMA-IR defined as the highest quintile (≥2.00). Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis using Youden index and the area under curve (AUC) was employed to determine optimal cutoffs of waist circumference in relation to HOMA-IR.
Results
Adjusted geometric means of HOMA-IR and prevalence odds of elevated HOMA-IR were progressively higher with increasing levels of waist circumference. In the ROC curve analysis, the highest value of Youden index was obtained for a cutoff point of 85 cm in waist circumference across different values of HOMA-IR. Multiple logistic regression analysis also indicated that the AUC was consistently the largest for a waist circumference of 85 cm.
Conclusion
Waist circumference is linearly related to insulin resistance, and 85 cm in waist circumference is an optimal cutoff in predicting insulin resistance in middle-aged Japanese men.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-9-1
PMCID: PMC2635363  PMID: 19138424

Results 1-3 (3)