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Cancer Causes Control. 2007 Nov;18(9):1021-9. Epub 2007 Jul 31.

Serum uric acid and risk of cancer mortality in a large prospective male cohort.

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Department of Medical Statistics, Informatics and Health Economics, Innsbruck Medical University, Schoepfstrasse 41, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria.



To examine the prognostic role of serum uric acid (SUA) for cancer mortality in apparently healthy men across a wide age range.


Prospective data from a large cohort of 83,683 male Austrian adults with a median follow-up of 13.6 years was analyzed. Cox proportional hazards models, adjusted for established risk factors, were calculated to evaluate SUA as a predictive marker for fatal cancer events.


High SUA (>6.71 mg/dl) was independently associated with increased risk of mortality from all cancers, showing a clear dose-response relationship (p for trend < 0.0001); the adjusted hazard ratio for the highest versus lowest quintile of SUA was 1.41 (1.22-1.62). In subgroup analyses this hazard ratio increased to 1.53 (1.29-1.80) for participants aged <65 years. When considering the time interval between baseline SUA measurement and subsequent death, SUA levels were more predictive for "late deaths", occurring 10 or more years after screening (HR 1.65 [1.35-2.03], p < 0.0001), in comparison to deaths within 10 years after SUA measurement. In cancer site-specific analyses, SUA was significantly associated with deaths from malignant neoplasms of digestive organs (p = 0.03) and respiratory system and intrathoracic organs (p < 0.0001). Elevated SUA was further independently related to an increased risk of all-cause mortality (p < 0.0001).


Our results are contrary to the proposed antioxidant, inhibitory effect of SUA against cancer and rather suggest high SUA to be a valuable long-term surrogate parameter, indicative for a life-style at increased risk for the development of cancer.

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