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11-12-2011 | Cardiometabolic | Article

Uric acid level may be a useful marker of cardiometabolic risk in women

Abstract

Free abstract

MedWire News: Hyperuricemia may predict development of the metabolic syndrome in women, suggest results of a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

The findings arise from a prospective study of 3857 Chinese individuals who were free from the metabolic syndrome at baseline. Chien-An Sun (Fu-Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan) and co-investigators examined the relationship between serum uric acid (SUA) levels and prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in these individuals over a mean follow-up of 5.41 years.

Hyperuricemia was defined as having SUA above 7.7 mg/dL for men and 6.6 mg/dL for women. The metabolic syndrome was defined according to a joint statement of the International Diabetes Federation Task Force on Epidemiology and Prevention, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Heart Association, the World Heart Federation, the International Atherosclerosis Society, and the International Association for the Study of Obesity.

The mean SUA concentration at baseline was 6.20 mg/dL (7.14 mg/dL for men and 5.42 mg/dL for women), and the overall prevalence of hyperuricemia was 25.5%.

The metabolic syndrome was reported in 476 individuals over the follow-up period, resulting in an incidence density of 22.8 per 1000 person-years.

Sun et al observed a significant stepwise increase in the incidence of the metabolic syndrome across tertiles of SUA, and this association was more robust in women than in men.

When associations were evaluated separately in men and women, the researchers found that women in the upper (≥5.8 mg/dL) and middle (4.7-5.7 mg/dL) tertiles of SUA had a 3.18- and 1.67-fold increased risk for developing the metabolic syndrome, respectively, compared with those in the lowest tertile (<6.4 mg/dL).

In men, those in the middle and upper tertiles of SUA exhibited an elevated risk for developing the metabolic syndrome compared with those in the lowest tertile, but this finding was not significant.

Of note, when the researchers evaluated the association between SUA levels and individual components of the metabolic syndrome they found that hyperuricemia tended to "interact additively with elevated blood pressure and elevated waist circumference" in women.

"Gender is an important factor in the inter-relationship between hyperuricemia and the metabolic syndrome," conclude the authors. "Further studies to explore the underlying mechanisms responsible for the gender-based association between SUA level and metabolic syndrome risk are warranted."

MedWire (www.medwire-news.md) is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Nikki Withers