OBJECTIVE We examined the association between increasing serum GGT levels and PAD in the US general population.
METHODS Cross-sectional study among 3941 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2002 participants aged >or=40 years. Main outcome-of-interest was PAD defined as ankle-brachial index <0.9 (n=219).
RESULTS Overall, serum GGT levels were positively associated with PAD among men but not women (p-interaction=0.0421). Among men, the multivariable odds ratio (OR) [95% confidence intervals (CI)] comparing the highest quartile of serum GGT (>35U/L) to the lowest quartile (<16U/L) was 4.25 (1.65-10.94); p-trend=0.0008. Also the observed positive association between GGT quartiles and PAD among men was predominantly present among non-Hispanic whites and current nondrinkers (multivariable OR [95% CI] comparing the highest quartile of serum GGT to the lowest quartile was 10.59 [2.31-48.55]; p-trend=0.0104). In contrast among women, the multivariable OR (95% CI) comparing the highest quartile of serum GGT to the lowest quartile was 0.76 (0.41-1.41); p-trend=0.8308.
CONCLUSIONS There was a positive association between serum GGT level and PAD among men, particularly non-Hispanic white and nondrinker men, but not among women. Future prospective studies are required to clarify the temporal nature of this relationship and to confirm the observed gender-specific nature of this association.