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Associations of serum uric acid levels and anthropometric parameters with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in healthy individuals: innovative insights from a cross-sectional study

Curr Med Res Opin. 2023 Dec 19:1-10. doi: 10.1080/03007995.2023.2296967. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVE: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD is a spectrum of liver disease with a rising prevalence, ranging from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis and cirrhosis, where a significant minority face potential complications. Determining the predictive markers plays a crucial role. This study examined the relationship between serum uric acid (SUA) levels and NAFLD in healthy individuals and identified potential other predictors.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cohort of 2162 healthy participants attending routine check-up visits between February 2021 and May 2023 were included. Participants underwent abdominal ultrasound, uric acid measurements, and anthropometric assessments by TANITA. NAFLD was graded using a “hepatic steatosis score.” Statistical analysis included nonparametric tests, chi-squared tests, Fisher’s exact test, ROC curve analysis, and logistic regression.

RESULTS: The median age was 45 years (range:18-65). 1017 were male, and 1145 were female. Among the participants, 53.9%, 26.3%, 17.9%, and 1.9% exhibited Grade 0, 1, 2, and 3 hepatic steatosis, respectively. ROC analysis showed 80.0% sensitivity and 78.8% specificity for detecting grade 2 or higher hepatic steatosis with a cutoff value of 5.21 mg/dl of SUA (AUC = 0.82, p < 0.001, 95%CI 0.79-0.84). There were significant associations between elevated uric acid levels and NAFLD. Participants with higher body fat percentages, BMI values, and waist-to-hip ratios also demonstrated an increased prevalence of steatosis. Gender significantly influenced liver steatosis, with males exhibiting higher grades compared to females. Logistic regression analysis highlighted positive associations between NAFLD and body fat percentage, waist-to-hip ratio, and uric acid levels. Each unit increase in uric acid levels corresponded to a 2.5-fold increase in the odds of NAFLD (p < 0.001, 95% CI = 2.20-2.84).

CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest a significant relationship between serum uric acid levels and NAFLD in healthy individuals. Elevated uric acid levels, in conjunction with other anthropometric parameters, may serve as potential predictive markers for NAFLD.

PMID:38111962 | DOI:10.1080/03007995.2023.2296967

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