Contribution of serum adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein levels to the presence of microalbuminuria in a Chinese hyperglycemic population

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Individuals with type 2 diabetes mellitus are vulnerable to micro- and macrovascular complications in the presence of microalbuminuria. Adipocyte fatty acid-binding protein (A-FABP) was proposed as an indicator for albuminuria in patients with diabetes. The present study aimed to explore the associations between serum A-FABP levels and microalbuminuria in the hyperglycemic population.

Materials and Methods

Serum A-FABP levels were detected using sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Microalbuminuria was identified by urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio (UACR), when the value was between 30–300 mg/g. The participants were divided into the subgroups based on sex and the status of impaired glucose regulation or newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes mellitus.


A total of 939 participants, consisting of 436 men and 503 women, were enrolled. Serum levels of A-FABP were much higher in participants with microalbuminuria than those without microalbuminuria. This result held true for all subgroups (all P < 0.05). For Spearman's correlation analyses, serum A-FABP levels showed a positive relationship with the UACR in men and women (both P < 0.01). Multiple stepwise regression analysis showed that serum A-FABP levels were independently and positively correlated with UACR in both sexes (men: standardized β = 0.256, P < 0.001; women: standardized β = 0.155, P = 0.001). This relationship remained significant in every subgroup (all P < 0.01).


For hyperglycemic individuals, serum A-FABP levels increased in the presence of microalbuminuria. Serum A-FABP levels were identified as an independent factor positively associated with the UACR.

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