Among possible markers of age-related cognitive decline, uric acid (UA) is controversial because it has antioxidant properties but is increased in diseases that often lead to cognitive impairment. In this study of 96 elderly adults, participants with mildly elevated (but normal) serum UA were 2.7 to 5.9 times more likely to score in the lowest quartile of the sample on measures of processing speed, verbal memory, and working memory. Even after controlling for age, sex, race, education, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, and alcohol abuse, the multivariate-adjusted odds of poor verbal memory and working memory remained significant (ps < .05). Despite its antioxidant properties, these findings suggest that even mild elevations of UA might increase the risk of cognitive decline among older adults.
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