It is assumed that hepatic steatosis plays a role in the development and progression of the metabolic syndrome and its cardiovascular sequelae. Low serum IGF1 levels might mediate these associations.
The aims of this study were i) to investigate the associations of hepatic steatosis with serum IGF1 and IGF binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3) levels using ultrasound and serum alanine aminotransaminase (ALT) data to define hepatic steatosis, and ii) to analyze the specific role of alcohol consumption in this context.
We analyzed data from the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania.
We used data from 3863 subjects (1971 women) aged 20–79 years who had no history of viral hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or malignant diseases. Liver hyperechogenicity was diagnosed using ultrasound. Serum IGF1 and IGFBP-3 levels were determined by automated two-site chemiluminescence immunoassays.
Hyperechogenic liver pattern was associated with low serum IGF1 levels and low serum IGF1/IGFBP-3 ratios. The lowest serum IGF1 and IGF1/IGFBP-3 values and highest IGFBP-3 levels were present in subjects who had a hyperechogenic liver pattern and increased serum ALT levels. All of these associations were independent of alcohol consumption.
Our data show that hepatic steatosis is associated with low serum IGF1 levels. This association is independent of alcohol consumption.