Baseline serum uric acid level as a predictor of cardiovascular disease related mortality and all-cause mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective studies

Atherosclerosis. 2013 Nov;231(1):61-8. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2013.08.023. Epub 2013 Aug 31.


Objective: Serum uric acid (SUA) levels have been used to predict cardiovascular and all-cause mortality event, but the data have yielded conflicting results. We investigated whether SUA was an independent predictor for cardiovascular or all-cause mortality with prospective studies by meta-analysis.

Methods: Pubmed and Embase were searched without language restrictions for publications available till April 2013. Only prospective studies on cardiovascular or all-cause mortality related to SUA levels were included. Pooled adjust relative risk (RR) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated separately for the highest vs. lowest category or the lowest vs. middle category.

Results: For the highest SUA, eleven studies with 172,123 participants were identified and analyzed. Elevated SUA increased risk of all-cause mortality (RR 1.24; 95% CI 1.09-1.42) and cardiovascular mortality (RR 1.37; 95% CI 1.19-1.57). Subgroup analyses showed that elevated SUA significantly increase the risk of all-cause mortality among men (RR 1.23; 95% CI 1.08-1.42), but not in women (RR 1.05; 95% CI 0.79-1.39). Risk of cardiovascular mortality appeared to be more pronounced among women (RR 1.35; 95% CI 1.06-1.72). The association between extremely low SUA and mortality was reported in three studies; we did not perform a pooled analysis because of high degree of heterogeneity in these studies.

Conclusions: Baseline SUA level is an independent predictor for future cardiovascular mortality. Elevated SUA appears to significantly increase the risk of all-cause mortality in men, but not in women. Whether low SUA levels are predictors of mortality is still inconclusive.

Keywords: All-cause mortality; Cardiovascular mortality; Meta-analysis; Serum uric acid.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiovascular Diseases / blood*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / mortality*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Uric Acid / blood*


  • Uric Acid