Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(2):285-291. doi:10.7150/ijms.28264

Research Paper

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with low-grade albuminuria in men without diabetes mellitus

Seok Hui Kang, Kyu Hyang Cho, Jun Young Do

Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Yeungnam University Hospital, Daegu, Republic of Korea

Abstract

Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with the dysregulation of multiple metabolic and inflammatory pathways. These can lead to extrahepatic disorders involving the kidney, a vulnerable organ responsible for extra-renal complications. Evaluating the association between NAFLD and low-grade albuminuria as a renal complication would be helpful to better understand the pathophysiology and extra-hepatic complications of NAFLD.

Patients and Methods: Our study extracted data from database obtained a representative population sample. Overall, 3867 men were included in this survey. Our study included only men without diabetes mellitus, with a urinary albumin/creatinine ratio < 30 mg/g (n = 1390). Low-grade albuminuria was defined by a urinary albumin/creatinine ratio within the highest quartile. The fatty liver index was calculated in accordance with Bedogni's equation. We defined the NAFLD group as patients with a fatty liver index of ≥ 60.

Results: In the multivariate analysis, the urinary albumin/creatinine ratio in the non-NAFLD and NAFLD groups was 3.05 ± 0.14 and 5.19 ± 0.42, respectively (P < 0.001). The correlation coefficients between the fatty liver index and urinary albumin/creatinine ratio were 0.124 in the Pearson's correlation test and 0.084 in the partial correlation test (P < 0.001 and P = 0.002, respectively). Linear regression analysis showed a positive association between the fatty liver index and the urinary albumin/creatinine ratio on multivariate analysis. Logistic regression analysis showed that the odds ratio for low-grade albuminuria with NAFLD was 2.31 (95% confidence interval, 1.47-3.61; P < 0.001) on the multivariate analysis. Subgroup analyses according to the presence of metabolic syndrome or age (< 50 or ≥ 50 years) showed that the association between NAFLD and the urinary albumin/creatinine ratio was stronger for participants without metabolic syndrome and in those aged < 50 years.

Conclusion: NAFLD was associated with low-grade albuminuria in men without diabetes mellitus in this study. Therefore, men with a relatively high fatty liver index or NAFLD should be closely monitored for low-grade albuminuria, especially in absence of metabolic syndrome.

Keywords: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, albuminuria, metabolic syndrome

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How to cite this article:
Kang SH, Cho KH, Do JY. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with low-grade albuminuria in men without diabetes mellitus. Int J Med Sci 2019; 16(2):285-291. doi:10.7150/ijms.28264. Available from http://www.medsci.org/v16p0285.htm