Open Access Research article

Serum γ-glutamyltransferase and uric acid levels are associated with impaired fasting glucose in adults from Inner Mongolia, China

Jie Wu1, Ling Qiu1*, Wen-hua Yan2, Xin-qi Cheng1, Wei Wu1, Xiu-zhi Guo1, Hai-tao Ding3, Hui-juan Han1, Shao-mei Han4 and Guang-jin Zhu4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Laboratory, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 100730, China

2 Department of Endocrinology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing, 100853, China

3 Department of Clinical Laboratory, Inner Mongolian People’s Hospital, Hohhot, 010017, China

4 Department of Pathophysiology, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, 100005, China

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:294  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-294

Published: 3 April 2013



Serum γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT) and uric acid (UA) levels are elevated in patients with diabetes or cardiovascular disease. Prediabetes, characterized by impaired glucose tolerance, is an important risk factor for overt diabetes as well as cardiovascular disease. Therefore, the aim of this study was to explore the relationship between GGT, UA and prediabetes in a Chinese population, and provide a scientific basis for the early prevention and treatment of diabetes.


We performed a cross-sectional population-based study in a cohort of 2694 subjects (1211 men and 1483 women, aged 35–86 years). Questionnaires and physical examinations were performed using standardized procedures. Fasting blood was collected to measure glucose and other biochemical parameters. The subjects were divided into two groups with either normal fasting glucose (NFG) or impaired fasting glucose (IFG), according to international diagnostic criteria. Logistic regression analysis was performed to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals.


Compared with the NFG group, the IFG group had significantly higher blood pressure but lower high-density lipoprotein–cholesterol in women. Body mass index, waist circumference, triglyceride, glucose, GGT, and UA levels were significantly higher in males and females in the IFG group than those in the NFG group. Logistic regression analysis revealed that the OR for prediabetes increased with increasing serum GGT quartiles and UA quartiles. GGT and UA were positively associated with prediabetes in men and women, independent of age, ethnicity, smoking, alcohol consumption, blood pressure, physical labor, and other confounders.


We found that serum GGT and UA levels were positively associated with prediabetes in men and women living in areas inhabited by Chinese ethnic minorities. As elevated GGT and UA levels were associated with significantly increased risk of prediabetes, they may be used as sensitive biological markers of prediabetes.

γ-Glutamyltransferase; Uric acid; Prediabetes; Impaired fasting glucose