Background: Kidney disease is commonly accompanied by hyperuricemia. However, the contribution of serum uric acid (SUA) to kidney injury is debated. Our objective was to assess the long-term prediction of renal failure by SUA.
Methods: Visit 2 participants in the Jerusalem Lipid Research Clinic cohort with normal baseline kidney function were followed for 24-28 years. SUA levels were assessed for associations with acute renal failure (ARF) and chronic renal failure (CRF) as defined by hospital discharge records, and mortality, ascertained through linkage with the national population registry.
Results: Among 2449 eligible participants (1470 men, 979 women aged 35-78 years in 1976-79), SUA was positively linked with male sex, serum creatinine and components of the metabolic syndrome but was lower in smokers and in diabetic subjects. The 22- to 25-year incidence of hospital-diagnosed kidney failure (145 first events, 67% CRF) and the 24- to 28-year mortality (587 events) were higher in subject with hyperuricemia (>6.5 mg/dL in men and >5.3 mg/dL in women, reflecting the upper quintiles), independent of baseline kidney function and covariates. Hyperuricemia conferred adjusted hazard ratios of 1.36 (P = 0.003), 2.14 (P < 0.001) and 2.87 (P = 0.003) for mortality, CRF and ARF, respectively.
Conclusions: SUA predicts renal failure incidence and all-cause mortality independently of demographic and clinical covariates. These results lend support to the undertaking of clinical trials to examine the effect of uric acid-lowering strategies on kidney outcomes.