Prevalence and Associated Factors of Liver Enzyme Abnormalities Among Bangladeshi Women: A Cross-Sectional Study

Cureus. 2024 Apr 4;16(4):e57606. doi: 10.7759/cureus.57606. eCollection 2024 Apr.


Background Liver enzyme abnormalities can indicate underlying liver health issues and are influenced by various factors. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of liver enzyme abnormalities and their associated factors among nonpregnant and nonlactating (NPNL) women in Bangladesh. Methodology A cross-sectional study was conducted among 251 NPNL Bangladeshi women. Data on demographic, socioeconomic, and health-related variables were collected. Logistic regression analysis was used to determine the association between liver enzyme abnormalities and associated factors. Results The prevalence of liver enzyme abnormalities among participants was determined, with associated factors such as age, body mass index (BMI), monthly income, and food security status examined. Elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were observed in 54 (21.5%) and 47 (18.7%) of participants, respectively, with 116 (46.2%) exhibiting an AST/ALT ratio exceeding 1.00. Food insecurity was significantly associated with a higher prevalence of elevated ALT levels (24.4% vs. 8.7%, P = 0.02), as well as low monthly income (18.8%, 14.7% vs. 36.7%, P < 0.01) and higher BMI (11% vs. 27.7% and 25.6%, P = 0.02). Similar trends were observed for AST levels. Moreover, participants with a higher BMI exhibited significantly higher rates of at least one abnormal liver function enzyme (15.9% vs. 34.9%, P = 0.01). Logistic regression analysis revealed a significant association between abnormal liver enzyme levels and certain demographic and socioeconomic factors, specifically BMI and age. Conclusions This study provides insights into the prevalence of liver enzyme abnormalities and their associated factors among NPNL Bangladeshi women. The findings underscore the importance of addressing factors such as BMI and age in mitigating liver health issues in this population. Further research and targeted interventions are warranted to address these concerns effectively.

Keywords: alanine aminotransferase (alt); aspartate aminotransferase (ast); bangladesh; body mass index (bmi); non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (nafld); non-pregnant and non-lactating (npnl) women.

Grants and funding

The authors acknowledge the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for funding the "Nutrition, Health and Demographic Survey of Bangladesh-2011". The authors also gratefully acknowledge the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh, for the support provided through the Centennial Research Grant for the analysis of biological samples. However, the authors did not receive any funding for writing and publishing the manuscript.