Association of Uric Acid With Vascular Stiffness in the Framingham Heart Study

Am J Hypertens. 2015 Jul;28(7):877-83. doi: 10.1093/ajh/hpu253. Epub 2014 Dec 31.


Background: Uric acid is associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease and arterial stiffness in patients with hypertension or stroke. It remains unknown if uric acid is associated with arterial stiffness in the general population.

Methods: We analyzed the association between serum uric acid levels and measures of arterial stiffness such as carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (CF PWV), carotid-radial pulse wave velocity (CR PWV) and augmentation index (AI) in 4,140 participants from the Generation 3 Framingham cohort using linear regression.

Results: Mean (SD) age was 40.0 (8.8) years and mean (SD) serum uric acid levels were 5.3 (1.5) mg/dl. Mean (SD) CF PWV was 7.0 (1.4) m/s. Individuals in the highest quartile of uric acid were more likely to be male, have a higher prevalence of hypertension, higher BMI, fasting glucose and insulin, and lower estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Multivariate adjusted means of CF PWV were 6.90, 6.94, 7.06, and 7.15 m/s for uric acid quartile 1, 2, 3, and 4 respectively. In unadjusted analysis each 1mg/dl increase in uric acid was associated with higher CF-PWV (β = 0.27; 95% CI = 0.25, 0.29; P < 0.0001). This was attenuated but remained significant after adjusting for age, sex, smoking, hypertension, BMI, fasting glucose, insulin, animal protein intake, and eGFR (β= 0.06; 95% CI = 0.02, 0.09; P < 0.0007). There was no association between serum uric acid levels and AI upon adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors.

Conclusions: Serum uric acid levels are significantly associated with CF PWV and CR PWV in a younger Caucasian population.

Keywords: blood pressure; hypertension; uric acid; vascular stiffness..

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / ethnology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hyperuricemia / blood*
  • Hyperuricemia / diagnosis
  • Hyperuricemia / ethnology
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Massachusetts / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Uric Acid / blood*
  • Vascular Stiffness*


  • Biomarkers
  • Uric Acid