Background: Observational studies of the relationship between hyperuricemia and the incidence of hypertension are controversial. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the association and consistency between uric acid levels and the risk of hypertension development.
Methods: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, CBM (Chinese Biomedicine Database) through September 2013 and reference lists of retrieved studies to identify cohort studies and nested case-control studies with uric acid levels as exposure and incident hypertension as outcome variables. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed study quality using Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. Extracted information included study design, population, definition of hyperuricemia and hypertension, number of incident hypertension, effect sizes, and adjusted confounders. Pooled relative risks (RRs) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between hyperuricemia and risk of hypertension were calculated using a random-effects model.
Results: We included 25 studies with 97,824 participants assessing the association between uric acid and incident hypertension in our meta-analysis. The quality of included studies is moderate to high. Random-effects meta-analysis showed that hyperuricemia was associated with a higher risk of incident hypertension, regardless of whether the effect size was adjusted or not, whether the data were categorical or continuous as 1 SD/1 mg/dl increase in uric acid level (unadjusted: RR = 1.73, 95% CI 1.46∼2.06 for categorical data, RR = 1.22, 95% CI 1.03∼1.45 for a 1 SD increase; adjusted: RR = 1.48, 95% CI 1.33∼1.65 for categorical data, RR = 1.15, 95% CI 1.06∼1.26 for a 1 mg/dl increase), and the risk is consistent in subgroup analyses and have a dose-response relationship.
Conclusions: Hyperuricemia may modestly increase the risk of hypertension incidence, consistent with a dose-response relationship.