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Endocrine. 2012 Jun;41(3):450-7. doi: 10.1007/s12020-012-9629-8. Epub 2012 Feb 21.

Cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between serum uric acid and metabolic syndrome.

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Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Predictive Medicine and Public Health and Cardiovascular Research & Development Unit, University of Porto Medical School, Alameda Professor Hernâni Monteiro, 4200-319, Porto, Portugal.


Research on the importance of serum uric acid (SUA) as a contributing metabolic factor to cardiovascular diseases has conducted to conflicting results, with most studies assuming a cross-sectional design. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of SUA and metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its features. A representative sample of 2,485 individuals aged ≥18 years was randomly selected from the non-institutionalized resident population of Porto, Portugal. A total of 1,054 eligible subjects were included for the longitudinal analyses. Hyperuricemia was defined as SUA ≥70 mg/L in men and ≥60 mg/L in women. MetS was defined according the Joint Interim (2009) criteria. Associations were estimated using Poison regression and binomial models. In the cross-sectional analysis, subjects with hyperuricemia had a 2.10-fold increased risk of MetS as compared with normouricemic subjects (PR = 2.10, 95% CI: 1.68-2.63). Among MetS features, high triglycerides presented the strongest association with hyperuricemia (PR = 2.32, 95% CI: 1.84-2.91). The MetS crude incidence rate was 4.5/100 person-year (95% CI: 3.9-5.2) in normal uricemic and 13.0/100 person-year (95% CI: 8.5-20.0) in hyperuricemic participants. Using a multivariate longitudinal approach, hyperuricemia was positively associated with MetS incidence rate ratios (IRR = 1.73, 95% CI: 1.08-2.76). One standard deviation increase of SUA concentration was associated with a 1.22-fold increase in MetS risk (IRR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.05-1.42). Elevated SUA presented the strongest association with high-triglycerides concentration (IRR = 1.44, 95%: 1.22-1.71) and waist circumference (IRR = 1.25, 95%: 1.05-1.49). The independent positive association between SUA and MetS suggested by this longitudinal study supports that SUA might be a risk factor for MetS.

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