Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology

Thursday, 05 / 13 / 2021



HbA1C as a Biomarker of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: Comparison with Anthropometric Parameters

Muhammad Masroor* and Zeba Haque

Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan
*Correspondence to: Muhammad Masroor, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. Tel: +92-21-332-3581926, E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2021;9(1):15-21 DOI: 10.14218/JCTH.2019.00046
Received: September 14, 2019 Accepted: December 2, 2020 Published online: January 2, 2021


Background and Aims: Multiple non-invasive methods including radiological, anthropometric and biochemical markers have been reported with variable performance. The present study assessed glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1C) as a biomarker to predict non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its severity, compared with body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and waist circumference (WC)

Methods: This case control study included 450 individuals, including 150 cases and 300 age- and gender-matched controls recruited from the Dow Radiology Institute on the basis of radiological findings of fatty infiltration on abdominal ultrasound through convenient sampling. BMI, WHR and WC were measured according to standard protocols. HbA1C was determined by turbidimetric inhibition immunoassay

Results: Among the cases and controls, 66% and 32% had HbA1C levels higher than 5.7% respectively. HbA1C and BMI were significantly associated with NAFLD [crude odds ratio (cOR)=4.12, 2.88, 2.25 (overweight) and 4.32 (obese)]. WC was found to be significantly associated with NAFLD for both genders (cOR in males=5.50 and females=5.79, p<0.01). After adjustment for other parameters, HbA1C and WC were found to be significantly associated with NAFLD (aOR=3.40, p<0.001) along with WC in males (aOR=2.91, p<0.05) and in females (aOR=4.28, p<0.05). A significant rise in severity of hepatic steatosis was noted with increases in HbA1C, BMI and WC. HbA1C possessed a positive predictive value of 76% for the study population [0.76, confidence interval (CI): 0.715-0.809], 70.6% for males (0.706, CI: 0.629-0.783) and 80% for females (0.80, CI: 0.741-0.858).

Conclusions: Higher than normal HbA1C and WC measurements possess a more than 70% potential to predict NAFLD. It is the single risk factor that is strongly associated with NAFLD after adjustment for indices of body measurements. HbA1C may be presented as a potential biomarker for NAFLD in examination with other anthropometric measures in the adult population.


NAFLD, HbA1C, Biomarker, Non-diabetic population, Body weight measurements, Body mass index (BMI), Waist circumference (WC)

Journal of Clinical and Translational Hepatology 2021 vol. 9, 15-21  [ Html  ] [ PDF Full-text ]

© The Author(s) 2021. This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial License (CC BY-NC 4.0), which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license.


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