Uric acid and inflammatory markers

Eur Heart J. 2006 May;27(10):1174-81. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehi879. Epub 2006 Apr 12.


Aims: The role of uric acid (UA) in the process of atherosclerosis and atherotrombosis is controversial. Epidemiological studies have recently shown that UA may be a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and a negative prognostic marker for mortality in subjects with pre-existing heart failure.

Methods and results: We evaluate a relationship between UA levels and several inflammatory markers in 957 subjects, free of severe renal failure, from a representative Italian cohort of persons aged 65-95. Plasma levels of UA and white blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil count, C-reactive protein, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), interleukin-6 (IL-6), soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6r), interleukin-18 (IL-18), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) were measured. Complete information on potential confounders was collected using standard methods. WBC (P=0.0001), neutrophils (P<0.0001), C-reactive protein (P<0.0001), IL-1ra (P<0.0001), IL-6 (P=0.0004), sIL-6r (P=0.002), IL-18 (P<0.0001), TNF-alpha (P=0.0008), and the percentage of subjects with abnormally high levels of C-reactive protein (P=0.004) and IL-6 (P=<0.0001) were significantly higher across UA quintiles. After adjustment for age, sex, behaviour- and disease-related confounders, results were virtually unchanged. In subjects with UA within the normal range, UA was significantly and independently associated with neutrophils count, C-reactive protein, IL-6, IL-1ra, IL-18, and TNF-alpha, whereas non-significant trends were observed for WBC (P=0.1) and sIL-6r (P=0.2).

Conclusion: A positive and significant association between UA and several inflammatory markers was found in a large population-based sample of older persons and in a sub-sample of participants with normal UA. Accordingly, the prevalence of abnormally high levels of C-reactive protein and IL-6 increased significantly across UA quintiles.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Atherosclerosis / blood
  • Atherosclerosis / etiology*
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • C-Reactive Protein / metabolism
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Count
  • Leukocytes
  • Male
  • Neutrophils
  • Risk Factors
  • Thrombosis / blood
  • Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Uric Acid / metabolism*


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • Uric Acid
  • C-Reactive Protein