Background: It is well-known that there is a close relationship between metabolic syndrome (MetS) and microalbuminuria. However, some recent studies have found that even normal range albuminuria was associated with MetS and cardiometabolic risk factors. The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between MetS and normal range albuminuria and to calculate the cutoff value for albuminuria that correlates with MetS in the representative fraction of Korean population. Methods: Data were obtained from the 2011-2012 Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and included 9,650 subjects aged ≥19 years. We measured metabolic parameters: fasting blood glucose, waist circumference, blood pressure, and lipids, and albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR). The optimal ACR cutoff points for MetS were examined by the receiver operating characteristic curve. Multivariate logistic regression was used to obtain the prevalence of MetS and its components according to the ACR levels. Results: The first cutoff value of ACR were 4.8 mg/g for subjects with ≥3 components of MetS. There was a graded association between ACR and prevalence of MetS and its components. If ACR was <4 mg/g, there was no significant increase in the prevalence of MetS or its components. From the ACR level of 4-5 mg/g, the prevalence of MetS significantly increased after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, smoking, alcohol intake, exercise, and medications for diabetes mellitus and hypertension (odds ratio; 95% confidence intervals = 1.416; 1.041-1.926). Conclusions: Albuminuria within the normal range (around 5 mg/g) was associated with prevalence of MetS in the Korean population.
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