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Metabolism. 2012 Apr;61(4):554-61. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2011.09.003. Epub 2011 Oct 13.

Racial/ethnic and sex differences in the relationship between uric acid and metabolic syndrome in adolescents: an analysis of National Health and Nutrition Survey 1999-2006.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia, PO Box 800386, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Among adolescents, uric acid is associated with insulin resistance, hypertension, and the metabolic syndrome (MetS); and in adults, high uric acid levels are an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The objective was to determine whether the relationship of uric acid with MetS varies in adolescents by race/ethnicity and sex. We used linear regression to evaluate associations between uric acid and other MetS-associated clinical and laboratory measures among 3296 non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, and Hispanic adolescents aged 12 to 19 years participating in the National Health and Nutrition Evaluation Survey (1999-2006). Overall, non-Hispanic white males and females had the highest uric acid levels among the 3 racial/ethnic groups. In each racial/ethnic group, there were higher uric acid levels for those adolescents with vs without MetS. However, the extent of the MetS-related increase in uric acid level varied by race and sex. Among males, MetS was associated with the greatest increases in uric acid among non-Hispanic whites. However, among females the MetS-related increase in uric acid was greater among non-Hispanic blacks and Hispanics. Non-Hispanic white females exhibited the lowest degrees of correlation between levels of uric acid and MetS-associated variables. Uric acid levels did not correlate with insulin levels in non-Hispanic white females. These data suggest that the relationship between uric acid and MetS varies by race/ethnicity and sex. In particular, non-Hispanic white males exhibit a strong relationship and non-Hispanic white females exhibit a relatively poor correlation between uric acid and MetS-related factors. These data may have implications for the use of uric acid as a marker of future risk among adolescents.

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