Context: Women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have been implicated to have higher levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) because of the high prevalence of obesity. Objective: Our aim was to investigate the relationship between elevated ALT and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) activity and characteristic hyperandrogenism in women with PCOS. Design and Setting: We conducted a cross-sectional case-control study in a reproductive endocrinology clinic and voluntary annual medical health check-up program of the health management center in a tertiary medical center. Patients: A total of 279 women with PCOS and 279 age-frequency-matched healthy women were studied. Interventions: There were no interventions. Main Outcome Measures: All subjects underwent anthropometric measurement, clinical history recorded by questionnaires, and biochemical tests after an overnight fast. Results: The prevalence of elevated ALT and AST levels was significantly higher in women with PCOS than healthy control subjects. Multivariate regression analysis for women revealed that the presence of PCOS was significantly associated with elevated ALT but not AST after adjustment for age, obesity, and dyslipidemia. The level of androgenicity represented by free androgen index in women with PCOS was significantly related to elevated ALT and AST levels in multivariate regression models. Women with PCOS who had the highest quartile of free androgen index level had the highest risk of elevated ALT level after adjustment for age, obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. Conclusions: The risk of elevated ALT level is significantly higher in women with PCOS than those without, independent of obesity. The elevated ALT levels in women with PCOS were associated with the increased androgen levels, independent of obesity, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical