Hyperuricemia, although associated with higher risks for cardiovascular disease and hypertension, is likely not a causal factor, but a confounder associated with higher body mass index, according to a BMJ study.
Researchers examined uric acid levels and did genetic analyses in two large Danish cohorts. Subjects were assessed for hypertension at study entry and were followed for the development of ischemic heart disease.
Increases in uric acid were associated with increased risk for both coronary disease and hypertension, but the associations disappeared when taking into account the role of a common mutation in the SLC2A9 gene linked to high levels of uric acid. The presence or absence of the mutation had no association with coronary risk. In fact, higher BMI levels were independently associated with increased uric acid.
The authors write that their findings "suggest that uric acid is of limited clinical interest" in coronary disease or blood pressure.