Correlation between Serum Uric Acid and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Cross-Sectional Study
Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is one of the important health issues with high prevalence worldwide. However, there is no approved medication for that. As one of the indicators of metabolic syndrome, uric acid might play a role in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. In this study, we aimed to determine the correlation between serum uric acid level, liver enzymes, and ultrasonographic grading of NAFLD.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included patients aged 18-65 with NAFLD. Patients with other metabolic disorders and a history of using alcohol or medications that alter uric acid levels were excluded. The patients' serum uric acid, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels, and ultrasonographic grading of NAFLD at baseline, third month, and sixth month were collected.
Results: Of the 3000 patients, 500 patients met the eligibility criteria. The results showed that there is a significant positive relationship between ALT and serum uric acid level at the first (P= 0.01), third (P=0.01), and sixth month (P=0.01). Furthermore, there was a significant positive correlation between AST and serum uric acid level at the sixth month (P= 0.001). The comparison of 249 patients' ultrasonographic grading showed no significant correlation with serum uric acid levels.
Conclusion: To conclude, the serum uric acid level significantly correlates with ALT and AST over six months but not with the ultrasonographic grading. Further studies are required to determine the role of uric acid-lowering agents in the treatment of NAFLD.