BACKGROUND: Elevated level of plasma uric acid (PUA) has been associated with cardiovascular disease, but whether uric acid is an independent risk factor or merely a marker remains controversial.
METHODS: We investigated in a cross-sectional setting the association of PUA with hemodynamics in 606 normotensive and never-medicated hypertensive subjects (295 men, 311 women, age range 19-73 years) without cardiovascular disease or gout. In all except 15 individuals, PUA was within the normal range. Supine hemodynamics were recorded using whole-body impedance cardiography and radial tonometric pulse wave analysis.
RESULTS: The mean concentrations of PUA in age, sex and body mass index adjusted quartiles were 234, 278, 314, and 373 µmol/l, respectively. The highest PUA quartile presented with higher aortic to popliteal pulse wave velocity (PWV) than the lowest quartile (8.7 vs. 8.2 m/s, p = 0.026) in analyses additionally adjusted for plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein, low density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and mean aortic blood pressure. No differences in radial and aortic blood pressure, wave reflections, heart rate, cardiac output, and systemic vascular resistance were observed between the quartiles. In linear regression analysis, PUA was an independent explanatory factor for PWV (β = 0.168, p < 0.001, R2 of the model 0.591), but not for systolic or diastolic blood pressure. When the regression analysis was performed separately for men and women, PUA was an independent predictor of PWV in both sexes.
CONCLUSIONS: PUA concentration was independently and directly associated with large arterial stiffness in individuals without cardiovascular disease and PUA levels predominantly within the normal range. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01742702.
- Arterial stiffness
- Impedance cardiography
- Pulse wave analysis
- Uric acid
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