Background: The impact of serum uric acid (SUA) on arteries of hypertensive subjects remains to be fully established. This study investigated the relationship between SUA and carotid structural and hemodynamic parameters in hypertensive men and women.
Methods: Three hundred and thirty eight patients (207 women and 131 men) were cross-sectionally evaluated by clinical, laboratory, hemodynamic and carotid ultrasound analysis. Common carotid diameters, circumferential wall tensions, Young's Elastic Modulus, Stiffness Index, Arterial Compliance and intima-media thickness (IMT) were determined. Internal carotid artery resistive index (ICRI), a hemodynamic measure that reflects local vascular impedance and microangiopathy, was also assessed.
Results: Univariate analysis showed no significant correlation of SUA with carotid diameters, elasticity/stiffness indexes, IMT and circumferential wall tensions in both genders. Conversely, SUA correlated with ICRI (r=0.34; p<0.001) in women, but not in men, and hyperuricemic women presented higher ICRI than normouricemic ones (0.684 ± 0.007 vs. 0.649 ± 0.004; p<0.001). Stepwise and logistic regression analyses adjusted for potential confounding factors showed that ICRI was independently associated with SUA and hyperuricemia in women.
Conclusions: This study demonstrated that SUA was associated with ICRI in hypertensive women, suggesting that there might gender-related differences in the relationship between SUA and vascular damage in subjects with systemic hypertension.