PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to investigate the association between the metabolic syndrome and alanine aminotransferase(SGPT) levels in Korean adults. METHODS: The study subjects were 4,325 adults aged > or = 19 years without an apparent cause of liver disease from the Third Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey(2005). The metabolic syndrome was defined using criteria established by the NCEP/ATP III, while abdominal obesity was assessed based on the Asia-Pacific guidelines. Subjects with SGPT > or = 40 IU/L were considered to have elevated SGPT levels. Demographic characteristics, waist circumference, blood pressure, triglyceride, HDL cholesterol, fasting blood sugar were recorded for statistical analysis. RESULTS: The prevalence of elevated SGPT levels was significantly increase with the presence of the metabolic syndrome and its components. In multiple logistic regression analyses, odds ratio for the elevated SGPT levels was significantly high in the subjects with the metabolic syndrome compared to the subjects without metabolic syndrome after adjusted for socio-demographic characteristics and health-related behavior. CONCLUSIONS: The metabolic syndrome was independently associated with SGPT levels in Korean adults.