BACKGROUND Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) was associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Low-grade albuminuria was recognized as an early indicator of CVD. Epidemiological studies investigating the association between NAFLD and low-grade albuminuria were limited. AIM To determine whether NAFLD is independently associated with the presence of low-grade albuminuria in Chinese adults. DESIGN A cross-sectional community-based population study was performed in 8270 Chinese adults aged 40 years or older. METHODS A first-voided early morning spot urine sample was obtained for urinary albumin and creatinine measurements. The highest quartile of urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio was defined as low-grade albuminuria, after excluding the participants with micro- or macroalbuminuria. NAFLD was diagnosed by using ultrasonography findings after the exclusion of alcohol abuse and other liver diseases. RESULTS The prevalence of low-grade albuminuria was significantly higher in participants with NAFLD than in those without NAFLD (33.6% vs. 21.3% in men and 30.4% vs. 22.8% in women, respectively). Multivariate-adjusted logistic regression analysis revealed that NAFLD was significantly associated with increased odds ratio of low-grade albuminuria in men (odds ratio, 1.47; 95% CI, 1.16-1.87) after adjusting for multiple confounders. The significant association was not detected in women. CONCLUSIONS NAFLD was significantly associated with an increased risk of present low-grade albuminuria in middle-aged and elderly Chinese men.