Uric acid is associated with metabolic syndrome in children and adults in a community: the Bogalusa Heart Study

PLoS One. 2014 Oct 24;9(10):e89696. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089696. eCollection 2014.


Background: Elevated serum uric acid (UA) is commonly found in subjects with metabolic syndrome (MetS). This study examined the association of UA with levels of individual MetS components and the degree of their clustering patterns in both children and adults.

Methods: The study sample consisted of 2614 children aged 4-18 years and 2447 adults aged 19-54 years. MetS components included body mass index (BMI), mean arterial pressure (MAP), triglycerides to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio (TG/HDLC), and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA). Observed/expected (O/E) ratio and intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) were used as a measure of the degree of clustering of categorical and continuous MetS variables, respectively.

Results: UA was positively and significantly associated only with BMI in children but with all four components in adults. The odds ratio for MetS associated with 1 mg/dL increase of UA was 1.74 (p<0.001) in children and 1.92 (p<0.001) in adults. O/E ratios showed a significant, increasing trend with increasing UA quartiles in both children and adults for 3- and 4-variable clusters with p-values for trend <0.001, except for BMI-MAP-TG/HDLC and MAP-TG/HDLC-HOMA clusters in children and MAP-TG/HDLC-HOMA cluster in adults. ICCs of 3 and 4 components increased with increasing UA quartiles in children and adults.

Conclusions: These results indicate that UA may play a role in the development of MetS in both pediatric and adult populations alike, which may aid in the identification and treatment of high risk individuals for MetS and related clinical disorders in early life.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Louisiana
  • Male
  • Metabolic Syndrome / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Racial Groups
  • Regression Analysis
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Uric Acid / blood*
  • Young Adult


  • Uric Acid