Public Release: 

Uric acid and heart disease

PLOS

In this month's premier open access medical journal PLoS Medicine, John Danesh and colleagues from the University of Cambridge, along with investigators from the Icelandic Heart Association, report the single largest prospective study addressing the role of uric acid in heart disease.

The debate over the role of uric acid in heart disease has been going on for more than 50 years, starting with a paper published in 1951 which found higher serum uric acid concentrations in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) compared with controls. Since then, measurement of serum uric acid has been suggested as a predictor of CHD. But many of the studies on serum uric acid are epidemiologic studies and have come to different conclusions about how useful measurement of uric acid is.

This study, along with a systematic review which combines their findings with those of 15 previously published prospective studies of serum uric acid - 9,458 cases of CHD and 155,084 controls in all - answers the question of the role of uric acid in prediction of CHD. Using all studies, they show that there is a very small role for uric acid in the prediction of disease but in the eight studies where all possible confounders had been removed this predictive role was lost.

What this paper does not do is directly address the question of whether or not serum uric acid is involved in causing CHD although it does suggest that serum uric acid levels are unlikely to be a major determinant of CHD. So although improving diet, losing weight, and controlling blood pressure may all contribute to reducing both one's risk of CHD and one's serum levels of uric acid, uric acid levels do not help to usefully predict the risk of CHD.

###

Citation: Wheeler JG, Juzwishin KDM, Eiriksdottir G, Gudnason V, Danesh J (2005) Serum uric acid and coronary heart disease in 9,458 incident cases and 155,084 controls: Prospective study and metaanalysis. PLoS Med 2(3): e76.

CONTACT: John Danesh
University of Cambridge
Institute of Public Health
Strangeways Research Laboratory
Worts Causeway
Cambridge, United Kingdom CB1 8RN
+44-(0)-1223-741302
+44-(0)-1223-741339 (fax)
john.danesh@phpc.cam.ac.uk

PLEASE MENTION PLoS Medicine (www.plosmedicine.org) AS THE SOURCE FOR THESE ARTICLES. THANK YOU.

All works published in PLoS Medicine are open access. Everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere - to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use - subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.

About PLoS Medicine
PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org

About the Public Library of Science

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org

Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.