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Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) is a critical metabolic regulator in insulin resistance, and lipid distribution. We intended to ascertain the relationship between circulating VEGF-B and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in the general public. We recruited a total of 194 general participants for a routine physical health examination; of these, 84 participants were identified with NAFLD and 110 without NAFLD based on ultrasonographic findings. Homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR), body mass index (BMI), HbA1c, liver function, kidney function, plasma VEGF-B levels and indexes of metabolic syndrome (blood pressure, fasting plasma glucose, fasting lipids) were evaluated. Plasma VEGF-B values were significantly higher in individuals with NAFLD compared to those without NAFLD (P = 0.022), and analysis of covariance confirmed this result. VEGF-B showed a positive correlation with γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GT) and HOMA-IR in univariate analysis (q = 0.242; P = 0.001; q =0.174; P = 0.019, respectively). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that γ-GT and ALT were independently correlated with VEGF-B even after adjusted for gender and age (q = 0.286; P = 0.01; q =0.237; P = 0.033, respectively). Moreover, plasma VEGF-B showed a powerful correlation with blood pressure and renal dysfunction. Plasma VEGF-B might be a new clinical variable related to NAFLD and could be a proper biomarker for the early detection of hypertension and renal dysfunction. However, further studies with large cohorts’ size are warranted to validate our findings.
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