Uric Acid Level and Elevated Blood Pressure in US Adolescents
Uric acid is associated with cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors in adults, including chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes mellitus, preeclampsia, and hypertension. We examined the association between uric acid and elevated blood pressure in a large, nationally representative cohort of US adolescents, a population with a relatively low prevalence of cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular disease risk factors. Among 6036 adolescents 12 to 17 years of age examined in the 1999–2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the mean age was 14.5 years, 17% were obese (body mass index: ≥95th percentile), and 3.3% had elevated blood pressure. Mean serum uric acid level was 5.0 mg/dL, and 34% had a uric acid level ≥5.5 mg/dL. In analyses adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, and body mass index percentile, the odds ratio of elevated blood pressure, defined as a systolic or diastolic blood pressure ≥95th percentile for age, sex, and height, for each 0.1-mg/dL increase in uric acid level was 1.38 (95% CI: 1.16–1.65). Compared with <5.5 mg/dL, participants with a uric acid level ≥5.5 mg/dL had a 2.03 times higher odds of having elevated blood pressure (95% CI: 1.38–3.00). In conclusion, increasing levels of serum uric acid are associated with elevated blood pressure in healthy US adolescents. Additional prospective studies and clinical trials are needed to determine whether uric acid is merely a marker in a complex metabolic pathway or causal of hypertension and, thus, a potential screening and therapeutic target.
- Received September 23, 2011.
- Revision received October 12, 2011.
- Accepted January 26, 2012.
- © 2012 American Heart Association, Inc.