We investigated the association between nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and plasma adiponectin levels and insulin resistance. We recruited study subjects among one hundred and eighty one persons who were examined abdominal ultrasound at routine screening tests. A standard interview (consumption of alcohol and medical history), physical examination (height, weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure), and biochemical study (lipid parameters, aminotransferases, fasting plasma glucose, fasting insulin, and plasma adiponectin) were performed. Subjects who consumed alcohol more than moderate, evidence of viral hepatitis, toxic hepatitis, and serious cardiac, renal, or hepatic disease were excluded. Thirty-eight NAFLD patients and 53 control subjects diagnosed by ultrasound were finally analyzed. The plasma adiponectin level was significantly correlated with HDL-cholesterol (r=0. 38, p<0.001), triglycerides (r=-0.22, p=0.04), fasting insulin (r=-0.37, p<0.01), and insulin resistance by homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) (r=-0.39, p<0.01), after adjusting for age, sex, and adiposity. Multiple logistic regression analysis indicated that HOMA-IR was a significant predictor of having NAFLD (odds ratio [OR]=2.38; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.52-5.74), while adiponectin had a protective effect against NAFLD (OR=0.22; 95% CI: 0.09-0.55). We demonstrated that hypoadiponectinemia and insulin resistance are associated with NAFLD independent of obesity.
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