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Medicineworld.org: Strong Link Between Uric Acid And Hypertension

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Strong Link Between Uric Acid And Hypertension

Strong Link Between Uric Acid And Hypertension
New research shows that higher levels of uric acid are strongly linked to hypertension in blacks, suggesting that a simple blood test could predict risk and that therapys to lower uric acid may be a novel way to reduce hypertension-related complications in this population.

"The novel angle of our study is that the association between uric acid and high blood pressure is much stronger in blacks, a group that disproportionately suffers from kidney disease, stroke and other complications of hypertension," said Philip B. Mellen, M.D., M.S., assistant professor internal medicine, and lead investigator.

The results are reported online in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association.

Uric acid levels are influenced by dietary factors, such as high levels of protein, and by the breakdown of the body's cells. Most uric acid is eliminated in urine. However, if excess uric acid is being produced or if the kidneys cannot remove enough of it, levels build up in the blood.

Very high levels of uric acid cause gout, but recent animal and human studies suggest that modest elevations of uric acid are one cause of hypertension. Currently, studies are under way to evaluate whether lowering uric acid prevents hypertension.

"If these studies show that lowering uric acid is an effective therapy, our research suggests that it may be particularly appropriate for blacks," said Mellen.

Uric acid can be lowered by medications such as allopurinol and newer agents under development.

Prior studies have linked high levels of uric acid and hypertension, but they did not include a large number of blacks. For the current study, scientists reviewed data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.

The 9,104 participants were free of high blood pressure when the study began. They were reviewed for high blood pressure at three-year intervals over four examinations. At the start, participants were between 45 and 64 with a mean age of 53 years.

A statistical analysis revealed that overall, uric acid levels in the highest quartile increased the risk of high blood pressure by about 15 percent. These results held true even after adjusting for other variables that could have affected results, such as age, baseline blood pressure, body mass index, kidney function, diabetes and smoking.

The link between uric acid and high blood pressure was especially strong among black men. Black men in the highest quartile had a two hundred percent risk of developing hypertension, in comparison to black men in the lowest quartile. In black women in the highest quartile, the increase in risk was 30 percent, in comparison to black women in the lowest quartile.

"Uric acid in the blood was positively linked to high blood pressure over nine years of follow-up, and this relationship was stronger in blacks than in whites," said Mellen. "More research is warranted concerning the clinical consequences of high uric acid, particularly in blacks".


Posted by: Daniel    Source




Did you know?
New research shows that higher levels of uric acid are strongly linked to hypertension in blacks, suggesting that a simple blood test could predict risk and that therapys to lower uric acid may be a novel way to reduce hypertension-related complications in this population. "The novel angle of our study is that the association between uric acid and high blood pressure is much stronger in blacks, a group that disproportionately suffers from kidney disease, stroke and other complications of hypertension," said Philip B. Mellen, M.D., M.S., assistant professor internal medicine, and lead investigator.

Medicineworld.org: Strong Link Between Uric Acid And Hypertension

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