Objectively measured sedentary time, physical activity and liver enzyme elevations in US Hispanics/Latinos

Jun Li, Simin Hua, Guo Chong Chen, Garrett Strizich, Mark H. Kuniholm, Zhilei Shan, Gregory A. Talavera, Sheila F. Castañeda, Marc D. Gellman, Jianwen Cai, Scott J. Cotler, Xuehong Zhang, Frank B. Hu, Robert Kaplan, Carmen R. Isasi, Qibin Qi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Sedentariness and physical inactiveness are associated with deleterious health outcomes, but their associations with liver enzyme elevations remain uncertain. Methods: In 10 385 US Hispanics/Latinos from the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos, we examined associations of sedentary time and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) measured by accelerometers with liver enzyme elevations. Elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase and γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) were defined as the highest gender-specific deciles. Prevalence ratios (PRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using weighted Poisson regressions. Results: After adjusting for demographical/socioeconomic factors and MVPA, increasing quartiles of sedentary time were associated with a higher prevalence of elevated ALT (PRs [95% CI] = 1.0, 1.17 [0.92-1.47], 1.21 [0.96, 1.53] and 1.51 [1.13-2.02]; P-trend =.007) and elevated GGT (PRs [95% CI] = 1.0, 1.06 [0.82-1.36], 1.35 [1.06-1.73] and 1.66 [1.27-2.16]; P-trend =.0001). These associations were attenuated but remained significant after further adjustment for cardiometabolic traits including body-mass index, waist-hip-ratio, lipids and homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance. In contrast, increasing quartiles of MVPA were associated with a lower prevalence of elevated ALT (PRs [95% CI] =1.0, 0.97 [0.77-1.23], 0.84 [0.66-1.06] and 0.72 [0.54-0.96]; P-trend =.01) after adjusting for demographical/socioeconomic factors and sedentary time, but this association became non-significant after further adjustment for cardiometabolic traits. Notably, the association of sedentary time with GGT elevation was significant both in individuals meeting the US Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (MVPA ≥150 minutes/week) and in those who did not (both P-trend ≤.003). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that objectively measured sedentary time is independently associated with elevated ALT and GGT in US Hispanics/Latinos.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1883-1894
Number of pages12
JournalLiver International
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020


  • Hispanic Americans
  • aminotransferases
  • non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • physical activity
  • sedentary lifestyle
  • γ-Glutamyltransferase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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