Previous studies have shown the correlations between serum ferritin and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) or diabetes. However, this relationship remains unclear in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) with NAFLD. Therefore, this study aimed to elaborate the relationship between serum ferritin levels and NAFLD in middle-aged and older patients with T2DM and further explored the biomarkers for NAFLD in T2DM.
A total of 805 middle-aged and older patients with T2DM were divided into NAFLD and non-NAFLD groups, and their serum ferritin levels were compared. Next, NAFLD group were divided into five subgroups according to the quintile levels of serum ferritin, and the differences in the constituent ratios of NAFLD were analyzed. A logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the risk factors for NAFLD in patients with T2DM.
The serum ferritin levels were significantly higher in T2DM patients with NAFLD (168.47 (103.78, 248.00) ng/mL) than in the non-NAFLD patients (121.19 (76.97, 208.39) ng/mL). The constituent ratios of NAFLD were significantly higher in the F5 and F4 groups than in the F2 or F1 groups (22.70 and 22.70% vs. 15.90 and 16.90%, respectively; P < 0.05). Binary logistic regression analysis showed that serum ferritin (P = 0.001) was an independent risk factor for NAFLD in patients with T2DM.
Serum ferritin levels were significantly increased in T2DM with NAFLD, and the constituent ratios of NAFLD increased gradually along with the increased levels of serum ferritin. Thus, serum ferritin is an independent risk factor for NAFLD in patients with T2DM.