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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

​Men with High Uric Acid Levels Face Risk of Developing Hypertension, University of Pittsburgh Study Finds

PITTSBURGH, February 6, 2007 Men with hyperuricemia, a condition involving the buildup of uric acid in the blood, are at high risk of developing hypertension, according to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study published in the February edition of Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association. The article is available at
. Unlike other investigations, this particular study analyzed men who were diagnosed with hyperuricemia but did not have diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

A highly common condition, hypertension affects an estimated one in every four adults and can increase the risk of heart attack. This study suggests that high uric acid levels in the blood can independently increase the risk of developing hypertension by approximately 80 percent. Thus, this evidence may help doctors discover new methods of preventing or postponing the onset of hypertension by reducing uric acid levels in the blood, which could lead to groundbreaking achievements in cardiovascular health.

Our study confirms that the hyperuricemia-hypertension risk relationship is present among middle-aged men without diabetes or metabolic syndrome, said Eswar Krishnan, M.D., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, division of rheumatology, and principal author of the study. These results hold the promise that we may ultimately prevent future cases of hypertension, thereby minimizing the risk of heart attack.

The study analyzed the data on a group of men without metabolic syndrome or hypertension at baseline from the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT), a randomized primary cardiovascular disease prevention trial conducted and supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. This group included 3,073 men between the ages of 35 and 57 years old who were followed for an average of six years by annual examinations.

This study was supported by an unrestricted grant from TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. of Lake Forest, Ill. This was an investigator-initiated project, and TAP Pharmaceutical Products Inc. was not involved in the design, data collection, or analysis and interpretation of the data.


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