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PLoS Med. 2005 Mar;2(3):e76. Epub 2005 Mar 29.

Serum uric acid and coronary heart disease in 9,458 incident cases and 155,084 controls: prospective study and meta-analysis.

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Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.



It has been suggested throughout the past fifty years that serum uric acid concentrations can help predict the future risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), but the epidemiological evidence is uncertain.


We report a "nested" case-control comparison within a prospective study in Reykjavik, Iceland, using baseline values of serum uric acid in 2,456 incident CHD cases and in 3,962 age- and sex-matched controls, plus paired serum uric acid measurements taken at baseline and, on average, 12 y later in 379 participants. In addition, we conducted a meta-analysis of 15 other prospective studies in eight countries conducted in essentially general populations. Compared with individuals in the bottom third of baseline measurements of serum uric acid in the Reykjavik study, those in the top third had an age- and sex-adjusted odds ratio for CHD of 1.39 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.23-1.58) which fell to 1.12 (CI, 0.97-1.30) after adjustment for smoking and other established risk factors. Overall, in a combined analysis of 9,458 cases and 155,084 controls in all 16 relevant prospective studies, the odds ratio was 1.13 (CI, 1.07-1.20), but it was only 1.02 (CI, 0.91-1.14) in the eight studies with more complete adjustment for possible confounders.


Measurement of serum uric acid levels is unlikely to enhance usefully the prediction of CHD, and this factor is unlikely to be a major determinant of the disease in general populations.

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