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Dev Psychobiol. 2017 Mar;59(2):225-234. doi: 10.1002/dev.21492. Epub 2016 Nov 26.

Association between body mass index and salivary uric acid among Mexican-origin infants, youth and adults: Gender and developmental differences.

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School of Transborder Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona.
The Institute for Interdisciplinary Salivary Bioscience Research, University of California, Irvine, California.
Department of Acute and Chronic Care, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Population, Family and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.
Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
Saliva Bioscience Laboratory and Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Nebraska.


Uric acid (UA) is the end product of the metabolic breakdown of purine nucleotides. Recent studies have measured UA in saliva in relation to obesity and chronic disease risk. Given the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome among Latino youth, we examined gender and age differences in salivary uric acid (sUA) and weight in a sample of Mexican-origin children (n = 65, 2 months to 18 years, 49% female) and adults (n = 46, 19-58 years, 72% female). We measured weight, height, waist, and hip circumference and collected saliva samples (later assayed for sUA). Structural equation models estimated the relationship between age, developmental stage, and weight outcomes in relation to sUA levels between genders, while controlling for race. Results demonstrate that increased sUA levels were related to higher BMI percentiles in females of all ages (β = 0.43, p < .001). There were significant differences in sUA levels between developmental stages for girls, with female toddlers having the highest sUA levels (β = .28, p = .02). In an interaction between BMI z-score and gender between youth and adults, BMI has a larger effect on increasing sUA levels among younger girls (β = 0.27, p < .03) and adult women (β = 0.33, p = .02). Levels of sUA may be gender-specific in relation to BMI and developmental stage.


Hispanics/Latinos; body mass index; gender; infants and children; salivary uric acid

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