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Uric acid level strongly associated with prehypertension incidence

10 Jan 2017

Uric acid level may independently predict prehypertension incidence, such that individuals with high uric acid levels are more likely to develop the condition compared with individuals having lower serum uric acid, according to a population-based prospective cohort study.

Researchers enrolled 15,143 individuals treated at the Tianjin Medical University General Hospital-Health Management Centre. Those without a history of hypertension or prehypertension were followed for 2 to 6 years.

Annual evaluations were performed to measure serum uric acid levels and blood pressure. Adjusted Cox proportional hazards regression facilitated assessments of associations between the quintiles of uric acid levels and the incidence of prehypertension.

During a median follow-up of 2.8 years, the incidence rate of prehypertension was 191 per 1,000 person-years.

On multivariate analysis, the prehypertension hazard ratios across uric acid quintiles were 1.00 (reference), 0.98 (95 percent CI, 0.90 to 1.07), 1.01 (0.93 to 1.10), 1.09 (1.001 to 1.20) and 1.17 (1.06 to 1.29; p<0.001).

The findings indicate that uric acid level is an independent predictor for prehypertension incidence.

Animal studies have shown that pharmacologically increased serum uric acid produces a 20- to 30-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure, as mediated by activation of the renin-angiotensin system and reduced vascular nitric oxide production. The same is true for humans, with uric acid increasing blood pressure in adolescents—an effect that can be attenuated by urate-lowering therapy. These and other available data suggest that control of uric acid can correct prehypertension. [Hypertension 2012;60:1148–1156]

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