Aim: Whether the association between serum γ-glutamyltransferase (γ-GTP) levels and total cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality is independent of alcohol drinking in East Asian populations is not well known. We conducted a pooled analysis of Japanese men and women that enabled an analysis restricted to never-drinkers. Methods: A total of 15,987 men and 25,053 women aged 40-79 years, pooled from seven cohort studies throughout Japan, were followed-up to examine sex-specific relationship between serum γ -GTP levels and total CVD mortality. Cox regression model was used that was adjusted for age, smoking status, body mass index, and systolic blood pressure and serum triglyceride, total cholesterol, aspartate aminotransferase, and alanine aminotransferase levels. Results: During an average follow-up of 8.7 years, we documented 361 and 340 deaths from total CVD, 146 and 168 from stroke, and 101 and 53 from coronary heart disease (CHD) for men and women, respectively. Among the never-drinkers, hazard ratios (HRs) for mortality for one standard deviation of log-γ-GTP for men were 1.89 (1.00-3.58) for stroke, 1.04 (0.57-1.90) for CHD, and 1.43 (1.04-1.96) for total CVD. For women, HRs were 1.28 (1.06-1.54), 1.81 (1.34-2.44), and 1.30 (1.14-1.49), respectively. Conclusion: γ-GTP may be a risk factor for total CVD mortality independent of alcohol drinking status in Japanese men and women.
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