Purpose: Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a serum glycoprotein produced predominantly in hepatocytes. As such, the synthesis of SHBG could be associated with liver function and metabolic syndrome. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels could reflect hepatocellular injury and insulin resistance; however, the relationship between hepatic steatosis and ALT with SHBG has not been investigated in humans. The objective of this study was to investigate the associations between SHBG and hepatocyte damage among Korean male patients with hepatic steatosis enrolled in a health examination program. Materials and Methods: We performed a retrospective cross-sectional study with 922 participants who underwent routine health examinations. A total of 922 men with or without hepatic steatosis were divided into three groups. We analyzed the risk of lower serum SHBG levels with or without elevated serum ALT levels using odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Results: A significantly increased risk of lower serum SHBG level was observed in the group with hepatic steatosis and ALT elevation (95% CI 1.591-4.681). Conclusion: In men with hepatic steatosis, we found that elevated serum ALT levels were associated with lower serum SHBG levels. This finding suggests that subjects with both hepatic steatosis and increased ALT should be considered to have low levels of SHBG.
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