"The novel angle of our study is that the association between uric acid and hypertension 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 treatment, our research suggests that it may be especially appropriate for blacks," said Mellen.
Uric acid can be lowered by medications such as allopurinol and newer agents under development.
Previous studies have linked high levels of uric acid and hypertension, but they did not include a large number of blacks. For the current study, researchers evaluated data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.
The 9,104 participants were free of hypertension when the study began. They were evaluated for hypertension 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 hypertension 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 hypertension was particularly strong among black men. Black men in the highest quartile had a two-fold risk of developing hypertension, compared to black men in the lowest quartile. In black women in the highest quartile, the increase in risk was 30 percent, compared to black women in the lowest quartile.
"Uric acid in the blood was positively associated with hypertension 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, especially in blacks."
Karen Richardson | EurekAlert!
Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington
New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.06.2017 | Information Technology