Article Text

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and outcomes in persons with acute coronary syndromes: insights from the GRACE-ALT analysis
  1. Lavanya Ravichandran1,
  2. Shaun G Goodman2,3,
  3. Andrew T Yan2,
  4. Aurora Mendelsohn3,
  5. Joel G Ray2,4
  1. 1Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton,  Ontario, Canada
  2. 2Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  3. 3Canadian Heart Research Centre, Toronto,  Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Department of Health Policy Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joel G Ray, Departments of Medicine and Health Policy Management and Evaluation, St. Michael's Hospital, University of Toronto, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5B 1W8, Canada; rayj{at}


Objective Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, but no data exist about the relation between NAFLD and adverse outcomes in persons with acute coronary syndromes (ACS). We evaluated elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) as a marker of NAFLD, in association adverse outcomes following ACS.

Methods We conducted a retrospective cohort study of participants enrolled in the Global Registry of Acute Coronary Events (GRACE) admitted for ACS to St Michael's Hospital, Toronto, between 1999 and 2007. Multivariable linear regression was used to determine the change in maximum measured cardiac troponin I (cTnI) per each 1 IU/l increase in serum ALT concentration. The association between an elevated ALT >90th centile, and adverse outcomes in-hospital and at 6 months were calculated using multiple logistic regression analyses, adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, serum creatinine, glucose, triglycerides and LDL-C, as well as chronic statin or other lipid-lowering agent use.

Results 528 participants were included. Each 1 IU/l increase in ALT was associated with an increase in maximum measured cTnI of 0.16 µg/l (95% CI 0.10 to 0.22). An elevated ALT concentration >90th percentile was associated with a maximum measured cTnI in the highest quartile (adjusted OR 7.07, 95% CI 1.83 to 27.37). An elevated ALT >90th percentile was also significantly associated with all-cause mortality in-hospital, and up to 6 months after discharge (adjusted OR 8.96, 95% CI 3.28 to 24.49).

Conclusions NAFLD, determined by an elevated serum ALT, is associated with a higher risk of adverse outcomes in persons with ACS. Whether ALT is a valid and independent prognostic marker in ACS remains to be determined.

  • Metabolic Medicine
  • Coronary Artery Disease

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