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Eur Heart J. 2006 May;27(10):1174-81. Epub 2006 Apr 12.

Uric acid and inflammatory markers.

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Longitudinal Studies Section, Clinical Research Branch, National Institute on Aging, NIH, Baltimore, MD, USA.



The role of uric acid (UA) in the process of atherosclerosis and atherotrombosis is controversial. Epidemiological studies have recently shown that UA may be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and a negative prognostic marker for mortality in subjects with pre-existing heart failure.


We evaluate a relationship between UA levels and several inflammatory markers in 957 subjects, free of severe renal failure, from a representative Italian cohort of persons aged 65-95. Plasma levels of UA and white blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil count, C-reactive protein, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), interleukin-6 (IL-6), soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6r), interleukin-18 (IL-18), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were measured. Complete information on potential confounders was collected using standard methods. WBC (P=0.0001), neutrophils (P<0.0001), C-reactive protein (P<0.0001), IL-1ra (P<0.0001), IL-6 (P=0.0004), sIL-6r (P=0.002), IL-18 (P<0.0001), TNF-alpha (P=0.0008), and the percentage of subjects with abnormally high levels of C-reactive protein (P=0.004) and IL-6 (P=<0.0001) were significantly higher across UA quintiles. After adjustment for age, sex, behaviour- and disease-related confounders, results were virtually unchanged. In subjects with UA within the normal range, UA was significantly and independently associated with neutrophils count, C-reactive protein, IL-6, IL-1ra, IL-18, and TNF-alpha, whereas non-significant trends were observed for WBC (P=0.1) and sIL-6r (P=0.2).


A positive and significant association between UA and several inflammatory markers was found in a large population-based sample of older persons and in a sub-sample of participants with normal UA. Accordingly, the prevalence of abnormally high levels of C-reactive protein and IL-6 increased significantly across UA quintiles.

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