Gender distribution of serum uric acid and cardiovascular risk factors: population based study

Arq Bras Cardiol. 2012 Jan;98(1):13-21. doi: 10.1590/s0066-782x2011005000116. Epub 2011 Dec 8.
[Article in English, Portuguese, Spanish]


Background: There is no data concerning the epidemiology of hyperuricemia in Brazilian population-based studies.

Objective: To investigate the distribution of serum uric acid and its relationship with demographics and cardiovascular variables.

Methods: We studied 1,346 individuals. Hyperuricemia was defined as ≥ 6.8 and ≥ 5.4 mg/dL for men and women, respectively. Metabolic syndrome (MS) was defined with NCEP ATP III criteria.

Results: The prevalence of hyperuricemia was 13.2%. The association of serum uric acid (SUA) with cardiovascular risk factors was gender-specific: in women, higher SUA was associated with increasing BMI, even after adjustments for age-systolic blood pressure (SBP). In men, the relationship of SUA with HDLc was mediated by BMI, whereas in women, SUA was similar and dependent on BMI, regardless of glucose levels and presence of hypertension. In men, triglycerides, waist circumference (WC) and SBP explained 11%, 4% and 1% of SUA variability, respectively. In women, WC and triglycerides explained 9% and 1% of SUA variability, respectively. Compared to the first quartile, men and women in the fourth quartile had a 3.29 fold and 4.18 fold increase of MS risk, respectively. Women had almost three fold higher prevalence of diabetes mellitus. Normotensive men with MS presented higher SUA, regardless of BMI.

Conclusion: Our results seem to justify the need for gender-based evaluation regarding the association of SUA with cardiovascular risk factors, which was more pronounced in women. MS was positively associated with increasing SUA, regardless of gender. Abdominal obesity and hypertriglyceridemia were the main factors associated with hyperuricemia even in normotensive individuals, which may add a higher risk for hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Body Mass Index
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / etiology
  • Hypertriglyceridemia / complications*
  • Hyperuricemia / epidemiology*
  • Hyperuricemia / etiology
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity, Abdominal / complications*
  • Reference Values
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Uric Acid / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Uric Acid