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Objective. Previous studies have shown that some metabolic risk factors are related to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This retrospective study was performed to investigate the associations between physical examinations and blood biochemistry parameters and NAFLD status and to identify possible risk factors of NAFLD. Methods. Study participants underwent general physical examinations, blood biochemistry, and abdominal ultrasound evaluations. In addition, data regarding sex, age, ethnicity, medical history, and alcohol consumption of participants were recorded. Among the study participants (N=1994), 57.8% were male, 41.2% over the age of 50, and 52.6% with BMI≥24. 986 patients had NAFLD and 1008 had no NAFLD. We used effect size analysis and logistic regression to determine which physical examinations and blood biochemistry parameters were significant for the association between these parameters and NAFLD status. Results. Both the effect size and logistic regression indicated that BMI, diastolic blood pressure (DBP), triglycerides (TG), and serum uric acid (SUA) show a significant association with NAFLD. Females are overall at a higher risk of NAFLD, but factors such as high BMI, DBP, TG, and SUA increase the associated risk for both sexes. Compared with males, females have a higher risk of NAFLD given that they are over 50, overweight and obese (BMI at or over 24), or have high SUA. In terms of age, people older than 50 with high SUA, and people younger than 50 with high DBP and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) all increase the risk of NAFLD. For BMI, high DBP and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) are risk factors for NAFLD in overweight and obese people (BMI at or over 24), whereas in normal weight and underweight people (BMI under 24), elevated LDL-C increases the risk of NAFLD. Conclusions. Our results revealed sex, age, and BMI modulate the association of physical examinations and blood biochemistry parameters and NAFLD, which may facilitate the development of personalized early warning and prevention strategies of NAFLD for at-risk populations.

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BioMed Research International, v. 2019, art. 1246518