Aims: Elevated serum uric acid (SUA) is often present in conditions associated with increased cardiovascular risk yet it is not recognized as a marker of risk. We evaluated whether SUA was associated with evidence of early markers of cardiovascular risk factor including subclinical early organ damage, sympathetic tone and metabolic profile in a healthy population with a high prevalence of obesity.
Material and methods: Data from 281 patients (175 women and 106 men, mean age: 35.5 ± 0.8 years, mean BMI: 33.2 ± 0.5 kg/m) were retrieved from a database. All participants were healthy, nonsmoker and free of medication. Available data included metabolic profile, muscle sympathetic nervous activity (MSNA, microneurography), endothelial function (pulse amplitude tonometry, augmentation index), estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and echocardiography.
Results: With participants grouped into sex-adjusted tertiles of SUA, those in the third tertile of SUA had increased waist circumference, worse metabolic profile (fasting glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides and HDL), elevated MSNA, decreased endothelial function, increased augmentation index and decreased eGFR compared with those in the first tertile of SUA. In multiple regression analysis adjusted for age, sex, BMI and ethnicity, SUA was independently associated with waist circumference, low-density lipoprotein, triglycerides, augmentation index, MSNA and eGFR, providing a combined adjusted R = 0.599 or 60% of the overall variance.
Conclusion: In a healthy population with a high proportion of obesity, SUA is associated with measures of metabolic, end-organ damage and sympathetic tone indicating the potential value of SUA as a marker of early cardiovascular disease development.