Objective: The role of serum uric acid as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease remains unclear, although hyperuricemia is associated with cardiovascular disease such as coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and hypertension.
Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis using a random-effects model was conducted to determine the risk of CHD associated with hyperuricemia in adults. Studies of hyperuricemia and CHD were identified by searching major electronic databases using the medical subject headings and keywords without language restriction (through February 2009). Only prospective cohort studies were included if they had data on CHD incidences or mortalities related to serum uric acid levels in adults.
Results: Twenty-six eligible studies of 402,997 adults were identified. Hyperuricemia was associated with an increased risk of CHD incidence (unadjusted risk ratio [RR] 1.34, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.19-1.49) and mortality (unadjusted RR 1.46, 95% CI 1.20-1.73). When adjusted for potential confounding, the pooled RR was 1.09 (95% CI 1.03-1.16) for CHD incidence and 1.16 (95% CI 1.01-1.30) for CHD mortality. For each increase of 1 mg/dl in uric acid level, the pooled multivariate RR for CHD mortality was 1.12 (95% CI 1.05-1.19). Subgroup analyses showed no significant association between hyperuricemia and CHD incidence/mortality in men, but an increased risk for CHD mortality in women (RR 1.67, 95% CI 1.30-2.04).
Conclusion: Hyperuricemia may marginally increase the risk of CHD events, independently of traditional CHD risk factors. A more pronounced increased risk for CHD mortality in women should be investigated in future research.