Background: It is unknown whether microalbuminuria is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among patients with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). This study investigated the association of NAFLD with microalbuminuria among patients with prediabetes and diabetes.
Methods: We evaluated 1361 subjects who had an abnormal oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) on routine screening. All participants were divided into two groups, prediabetes and newly diagnosed type 2 DM, and the association of NAFLD with metabolic parameters on microalbuminuria was analysed.
Results: The patients with NAFLD had higher prevalence rates of microalbuminuria (6.3% vs 19%; P= 0.001 in prediabetes, 4.5% vs 32.6%; P < 0.001 in diabetes) and also had a greater albumin-to-creatinine ratio (14.6 ± 52.0 µg/mg Cr vs 27.7 ± 63.9 µg/mg Cr; P= 0.051 in prediabetes, 11.4 ± 21.4 µg/mg Cr vs 44.7 ± 76.4 µg/mg Cr; P < 0.001 in diabetes) than those without NAFLD. The logistic regression analysis showed that NAFLD was associated with increased rates of microalbuminuria (odds ratio 3.66; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.31–10.20, P= 0.013 in prediabetes, odds ratio 5.47; 95% CI 1.01–29.61, P= 0.048 in diabetes), independently of age, sex, body mass index, waist circumference, liver enzymes, lipid profiles, HbA1c, insulin resistance as estimated by homeostasis model assessment, hypertension, smoking status and the metabolic syndrome.
Conclusions: The results of our study revealed a strong relationship between microalbuminuria and NAFLD in the patients with prediabetes and newly diagnosed diabetes. Further studies are required to confirm whether NAFLD is a predictor of the development of microalbuminuria in patients with prediabetes and diabetes.