Men With High Uric Acid Levels at High Risk of Developing Hypertension

Issue Date: 
February 12, 2007

Men with hyperuricemia, a condition involving the buildup of uric acid in the blood, are at high risk of developing hypertension, according to a Pitt School of Medicine study published in the February issue of Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.

The article is available online.

Unlike previous investigations of hypertension and hyperuricemia, the Pitt study analyzed men who were diagnosed with hyperuricemia but did not have diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

An estimated one of every four adults has hypertension, which can increase the risk of heart attack. Pitt’s study suggests that high uric acid levels in the blood can independently increase the risk of developing hypertension by approximately 80 percent.

“Our study confirms that the hyperuricemia-hypertension risk relationship is present among middle-aged men without diabetes or metabolic syndrome,” said Eswar Krishnan, a Pitt assistant professor of medicine and principal author of the study. “These results hold the promise that we may ultimately prevent future cases of hypertension, thereby minimizing the risk of heart attack.”

Pitt’s study analyzed data on a group of men without metabolic syndrome or hypertension at baseline from the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, a randomized primary cardiovascular disease prevention trial conducted and supported by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. This group included 3,073 men ages 35 to 57 who were followed for an average of six years by annual examinations.

This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. of Lake Forest, Ill. This was an investigator-initiated project, and TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. was not involved in the design, collection, analysis, or interpretation of the data.