Family history of exceptional longevity is associated with lower serum uric acid levels in Ashkenazi Jews

J Am Geriatr Soc. 2012 Apr;60(4):745-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2012.03902.x. Epub 2012 Mar 16.


Objectives: To test whether lower serum uric acid (UA) levels are associated with longevity independent of renal function.

Design: Cross-sectional cohort study.

Setting: Ashkenazi Jewish individuals with exceptional longevity (Longevity Genes Project at Albert Einstein College of Medicine).

Participants: Long-lived individuals (LLI) of Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity (mean age ± standard deviation 97.7 ± 2.9, n = 365), their offspring (mean age ± standard deviation 68.2 ± 8.2, n = 593) and controls (without family history of longevity, mean age ± standard deviation 72.5 ± 9.9, n = 356).

Measurements: Association between UA levels and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) as well as chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage, and correlation of UA levels of LLI and offspring were determined. Because LLI lack an appropriate control group, UA levels, eGFR, and prevalence of hyperuricemia and CKD stages were compared between offspring and controls.

Results: Offspring were less likely to have hyperuricemia and had lower UA levels than controls. Despite negative correlation between UA levels and eGFR and positive correlation between UA levels and CKD stages, eGFR and the prevalence of CKD stage III to V were not found to be different between offspring and controls. Furthermore, significant association between UA levels in LLI and their offspring (β estimate 0.1544, 95% confidence interval = 0.08-0.23, P < .001) has been observed.

Conclusion: Offspring had lower UA levels than controls despite similar renal function, suggesting that other factors such as UA metabolism or renal tubular transport determine UA levels. The association between UA levels and longevity is particularly intriguing because UA levels are potentially modifiable with diet and drugs.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Health / ethnology*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Jews*
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / ethnology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Longevity / genetics*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uric Acid / blood*


  • Uric Acid