Does Uric Acid Predict Mortality in Obesity?

sharma-obesity-heart-diseaseUric acid (too much of which in your blood can cause gout attacks) has long been discussed as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD).

In a paper by Helle Skak-Nielsen and others, just published in PLoS One, we looked at the relationship between serum uric acid levels and the risk of cardiovascular adverse outcomes (nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, resuscitated cardiac arrest or cardiovascular death) and all-cause mortality, in the almost 10,000 participants of the Sibutramine Cardiovascular OUTcomes (SCOUT) trial.

All participants were overweight or obese, 83.6% had diabetes, and 75.1% had CVD. During an average follow-up time of 4.2 years, 1043 subjects had a primary outcome and 816 died.

In a multivariate analysis adjusting for other known risk factors, the highest serum uric acid quartile was associated with a 50% increased risk in all-cause mortality compared to the lowest SUA quartile in women but not in men.

Thus, we concluded that serum uric acid is not an independent predictor of CVD but may predict all-cause mortality in women.

Be this as it may, measuring uric acid levels will certainly not prove particularly useful in predicting individual risk – cardiovascular or otherwise.

Edmonton, Alberta

ResearchBlogging.orgSkak-Nielsen H, Torp-Pedersen C, Finer N, Caterson ID, Van Gaal L, James WP, Maggioni AP, Sharma AM, Coutinho W, & Andersson C (2013). Uric Acid as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality in overweight/obese individuals. PloS one, 8 (3) PMID: 23533601