Objective: To evaluate the relationship between intakes of beer, liquor, and wine and serum uric acid levels in a nationally representative sample of men and women.
Methods: Using data from 14,809 participants (6,932 men and 7,877 women) age > or =20 years in The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988-1994), we examined the relationship between intakes of beer, liquor, and wine and serum uric acid levels. Alcohol intake was assessed by a food frequency questionnaire.
Results: Serum uric acid levels increased with increasing beer or liquor intake but not with increasing wine intake. After adjusting for age, the difference in serum uric acid levels as compared with no intake increased with increasing beer or liquor intake (P values for trend <0.001), but the association was inverse with increasing wine intake (P for trend <0.001). After adjusting mutually for these alcoholic beverages and for other risk factors for hyperuricemia, including dietary risk factors, the associations were attenuated but remained significant for beer or liquor (multivariate difference per serving per day 0.46 mg/dl [95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.32, 0.60] and 0.29 mg/dl [95% CI 0.14, 0.45], respectively; both P values for trend <0.01), but not for wine (0.04 mg/dl [95% CI -0.20, 0.11]; P for trend=0.6).
Conclusion: These data suggest that the effect of individual alcoholic beverages on serum uric acid levels varies substantially: beer confers a larger increase than liquor, whereas moderate wine drinking does not increase serum uric acid levels.