Objective. Obesity has been implicated as a risk factor for periodontitis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In NAFLD, elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is associated with obesity. Although a possible interrelationship between liver function and periodontitis has been reported among the middle-aged population, the correlation in young adults is little known. This study was designed to investigate the relationship between ALT and the presence of periodontitis in university students in Japan. Material and methods. Medical and oral health data were collected in a cross-sectional examination conducted by the Health Service Center of Okayama University. Systemically healthy, non-smoking students aged 18 and 19 years old (n 2225) were included. The protocol of the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey was applied. Subjects with probing pocket depth ≥ 4 mm were defined as having periodontitis. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate the association between ALT, body mass index and periodontitis. Results. The number of subjects with periodontitis was 104 (4.7%). In males, having periodontitis was significantly associated with an increased level of ALT (≥ 41 IU/l) in logistic regression analysis (adjusted odds ratio 2.3; 95% confidence interval 1.05.2; p < 0.05). However, there was no significant association between periodontitis and ALT in female students. Conclusions. Elevated ALT could be a potential risk indicator for periodontitis among young males. Monitoring hepatic abnormalities to prevent periodontitis must be better understood, even in the young adult population.
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