Increased Serum Uric Acid Levels Blunt the Antihypertensive Efficacy of Lifestyle Modifications in Children at Cardiovascular Risk
Primary hypertension is a growing concern in children because of the obesity epidemic largely attributable to western lifestyles. Serum uric acid is known to be influenced by dietary habits, correlates with obesity, and could represent a risk factor for hypertension. Preliminary studies in children highlighted uric acid as a potentially modifiable risk factor for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. The effect of lifestyle changes (increase of physical activity and dietary modifications) on blood pressure values, weight status, and serum uric acid levels in a cohort of 248 children referred for cardiovascular risk assessment were evaluated over a mean 1.5-year follow-up. At baseline, 48% of children were obese and 50% showed blood pressure values >90th percentile. At follow-up, a significant improvement in weight class (24% obese; P<0.0001) and blood pressure category (22% >90th percentile; P<0.0001) was found. Systolic blood pressure z-score (P<0.0001), uric acid value (P=0.0056), and puberty at baseline (P=0.0048) were independently associated with higher systolic blood pressure z-score at follow-up, whereas a negative association was observed with body mass index z-score decrease during follow-up (P=0.0033). The risk of hypertension at follow-up was associated with body mass index (P=0.0025) and systolic blood pressure (P<0.0001) z-score at baseline and inversely related to delta body mass index (P=0.0002), whereas the risk of showing hypertension ≥99th percentile was more than doubled for each baseline 1 mg/dL increase of serum uric acid (P=0.0130). Uric acid is a powerful determinant of blood pressure over time, independent of lifestyle modifications.
- Received November 19, 2015.
- Revision received December 14, 2015.
- Accepted February 3, 2016.
- © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.