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1.  Correlation Between Serum Uric Acid and Renal Function in Patients With Stable Coronary Artery Disease and Type 2 Diabetes 
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between serum uric acid and renal function, expressed as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), in patients with stable coronary artery disease (CAD) and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in China.
Serum levels of uric acid and creatinine were determined in 526 enrolled patients diagnosed with stable CAD and T2DM. To assess renal function, eGFR was calculated using a modified MDRD formula suitable for the Chinese population. Patients’ anthropometric measurements were collected using standardized protocols, and 6-month follow-up results were collected and analyzed. Pearson’s correlation coefficient r was calculated and multivariate analysis was performed to evaluate the relationship between uric acid and renal function. Patients with eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 were classified as having reduced renal function or chronic kidney disease (CKD) in this study.
Uric acid levels were negatively associated with eGFR (P = 0.002), especially in patients with CKD (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) (P < 0.001). In patients with reduced renal function, the risk in the highest quartile of uric acid levels was higher than in the lowest quartile (odds ratio 9.18, 95% confidence interval: 4.01 - 21.01, P < 0.001). These associations remained after multiple adjustments for potential confounders and were recapitulated after 6-month follow-up.
Serum uric acid level is negatively associated with renal function, as assessed by eGFR, and serves as an independent predictor for CKD in patients with stable CAD and T2DM.
PMCID: PMC4169086  PMID: 25247018
Stable coronary artery disease; Estimated glomerular filtration rate; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Uric acid; Follow-up
2.  Serum Uric Acid Levels and Incident Chronic Kidney Disease in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes and Preserved Kidney Function 
Diabetes Care  2011;35(1):99-104.
Recent studies have suggested an association between hyperuricemia and adverse renal outcomes in nondiabetic populations. Data on the relationship between hyperuricemia and the risk of incident chronic kidney disease (CKD) in type 2 diabetic patients with normal or near-normal kidney function are lacking. We determined whether baseline serum uric acid levels predict the subsequent development of CKD in patients with type 2 diabetes.
We followed 1,449 type 2 diabetic patients with normal kidney function and without overt proteinuria for 5 years for the occurrence of incident CKD (defined as overt proteinuria or estimated glomerular filtration rate [eGFR] <60 mL/min/1.73 m2).
During a 5-year follow-up period, 194 (13.4%) patients developed incident CKD. The cumulative incidence of CKD was significantly greater in patients with hyperuricemia than in those without hyperuricemia (29.5 vs. 11.4%, P < 0.001). In univariate logistic regression analysis, the presence of hyperuricemia roughly doubled the risk of developing CKD (odds ratio [OR] 2.55 [95% CI 1.71–3.85], P < 0.001). After adjusting for age, sex, BMI, smoking status, diabetes duration, systolic blood pressure, antihypertensive treatment, insulin therapy, HbA1c, eGFR, and albuminuria, hyperuricemia was associated with an increased risk of incident CKD (adjusted OR 2.10 [1.16–3.76], P < 0.01). In continuous analyses, a 1-SD increment in the serum uric acid level was significantly associated with a 21% increased risk of CKD.
In type 2 diabetic individuals with preserved kidney function, hyperuricemia seems to be an independent risk factor for the development of incident CKD.
PMCID: PMC3241303  PMID: 22028277
3.  Uric Acid, Hypertension, and CKD among Alaska Eskimos—the Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaska Natives (GOCADAN) Study 
It is unknown what role uric acid may play in the increasing cardiovascular disease (CVD) among Alaska Eskimos. Uric acid is associated with both hypertension (HTN) and chronic kidney disease (CKD). We analyzed 1078 Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaska Natives (GOCADAN) participants. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was calculated from serum creatinine measures using the MDRD equation. CKD was defined by an eGFR of <60ml/min/1.73m2. We adjusted for age, sex, education, diabetes, hypertension (or eGFR), obesity, lipids, and smoking status; 7% (n=75) had prevalent CKD. eGFR decreased with increasing tertiles of serum uric acid. (p<0.001) Uric acid was independently associated with prevalent CKD (Adjusted Odds Ratio [OR] and 95% confidence interval [CI] of 2.04 (1.62–2.56), respectively). 21% (n=230) had prevalent HTN; Uric acid was independently associated with prevalent HTN (Adjusted OR 1.2, 95% CI 1.1–1.5). Uric acid is independently associated with prevalent CKD and HTN in this population.
PMCID: PMC3507473  PMID: 22277138
Alaska Eskimos; chronic kidney disease; epidemiology; hypertension; uric acid
4.  Uric Acid and Pentraxin-3 Levels Are Independently Associated with Coronary Artery Disease Risk in Patients with Stage 2 and 3 Kidney Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;33(4):325-331.
Background and Objectives
Cardiovascular disease is prevalent in chronic kidney disease (CKD). Uric acid is increased in subjects with CKD and has been linked with cardiovascular mortality in this population. However, no study has evaluated the relationship of uric acid with angiographically proven coronary artery disease (CAD) in this population. We therefore investigated the link between serum uric acid (SUA) levels and (i) extent of CAD assessed by the Gensini score and (ii) inflammatory parameters, including C-reactive protein (CRP) and pentraxin-3, in patients with mild-to-moderate CKD.
Material and Methods
In an unselected population of 130 patients with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) between 90 and 30 ml/min/1.73 m2, we measured SUA, serum pentraxin-3, CRP, urinary protein-to-creatinine ratio, lipid parameters and the severity of CAD as assessed by coronary angiography and quantified by the Gensini lesion severity score.
The mean serum values for SUA, pentraxin-3 and CRP in the entire study population were 5.5 ± 1.5 mg/dl, 6.4 ± 3.4 ng/ml and 3.5 ± 2.6 mg/dl, respectively. The Gensini scores significantly correlated in univariate analysis with gender (R = −0.379, p = 0.02), uric acid (R = 0.42, p = 0.001), pentraxin-3 (R = 0.54, p = 0.001), CRP (R = 0.29, p = 0.006) levels, eGFR (R = −0.33, p = 0.02), proteinuria (R = 0.21, p = 0.01), and presence of hypertension (R = 0.37, p = 0.001), but not with smoking status, diabetes mellitus, and lipid parameters. After adjustments for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, only uric acid (R = 0.21, p = 0.02) and pentraxin-3 (R = 0.28, p = 0.01) remained significant predictors of the Gensini score.
SUA and pentraxin-3 levels are independent determinants of severity of CAD in patients with mild-to-moderate CKD. We recommend a clinical trial to determine whether lowering uric acid could prevent progression of CAD in patients with CKD.
PMCID: PMC3064941  PMID: 21389698
Chronic kidney disease; Coronary artery disease; Uric acid; Pentraxin-3
5.  Associations of serum uric acid with cardiovascular events and mortality in moderate chronic kidney disease 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2008;24(4):1260-1266.
Background. It is unclear whether the presence of kidney disease modifies the associations of uric acid with cardiovascular events and death.
Methods. In the limited access, public use Atherosclerosis Risk In Communities (ARIC) database, associations of serum uric acid levels with cardiovascular events and death were analysed using a parametric proportional hazards model and the modification of these associations by the presence of CKD was assessed using a likelihood ratio test.
Results. Of the 15 366 ARIC participants included in this analysis, 461 had CKD (eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m2). In both non-CKD and CKD sub-groups, participants with hyperuricaemia (≥ 7 mg/dl in men and ≥ 6 mg/dl in women) compared to those with normal serum uric acid levels had higher waist circumference and fasting serum insulin levels. In the entire cohort, in a multivariate parametric proportional hazards model, each mg/dl increase in serum uric acid was associated with an increased hazard of cardiovascular events (HR 1.09, 95% CI 1.05–1.12) and death. A multiplicative interaction term of serum uric acid and CKD when added to the above models was significant (P < 0.001). The likelihood ratio test of the models with and without the interaction term was also significant (P < 0.001). In the non-CKD population, a multivariate analysis after adjusting for comorbidities and metabolic syndrome showed a significant association between hyperuricaemia and mortality (HR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04–1.33) but not for cardiovascular events (HR 1.07, 95% CI 0.96–1.19). In the CKD population, the association was not significant for both mortality and cardiovascular events.
Conclusion. We conclude that hyperuricaemia is associated with insulin resistance and mortality in the non-CKD population. The presence of CKD attenuates the associations of uric acid with mortality. Interventional studies are warranted to establish the biological role of hyperuricaemia in mortality in non-CKD and CKD populations.
PMCID: PMC2721426  PMID: 19033255
cardiovascular events; chronic kidney disease; insulin resistance; mortality; uric acid
6.  Uric Acid Level Has a U-Shaped Association with Loss of Kidney Function in Healthy People: A Prospective Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(2):e0118031.
The relationship between hyperuricemia and chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been found in various observational studies. Although hypouricemia is associated with cardiovascular events, it has not been established as a risk factor for CKD. We investigated the relationship between serum uric acid level and the loss of kidney function and incident CKD in healthy people.
Materials and Methods
Healthy people were enrolled in this community-based prospective cohort study, the Saitama Cardiometabolic Disease and Organ Impairment Study, Japan. The analysis was conducted on 4188 subjects followed up for at least 3 years, 3102 for 6 years and 1052 for 9 years. Their data including glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) decline were examined every three years. The outcome event was incident CKD or the decrease in eGFR by more than 25% in three years. Multivariate statistical models were adjusted for the baseline characteristics.
The following data was obtained: mean±SD age, male, 39.6±10.4 years, female 38.4±10.8 years; eGFR, male, 81.9±16.4 ml/min/1.73m2, female, 82.1±17.5 ml/min/1.73m2; serum uric acid level, male, 5.8±1.2 mg/dl, female, 4.1±0.9 mg/dl. Both low and high serum uric acid levels were associated with the outcome and eGFR decline in males (multivariate logistic additional additive models, linear p = 0.0001, spline p = 0.043; generalized additive models, linear p = 0.0001, spline p = 0.012). In subjects with low serum uric acid levels (male, <5 mg/dl; female, <3.6 mg/dl), multivariate linear mixed models showed that low serum uric acid levels were associated with eGFR decline in a time-dependent manner (male, p = 0.0001; female, p = 0.045).
This study showed that low as well as high levels of uric acid are associated with the loss of kidney function. Hypouricemia is a candidate predictor of kidney function decline in healthy people.
PMCID: PMC4320097  PMID: 25658588
7.  Serum Uric Acid Is Associated with Incident Chronic Kidney Disease in Middle-Aged Populations: A Meta-Analysis of 15 Cohort Studies 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e100801.
Mounting evidence indicates that elevated serum uric acid may increase the incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Our goal was to systematically evaluate longitudinal cohort studies for the association of serum uric acid levels and incident CKD.
We searched electronic databases and the reference lists of relevant articles. The primary outcome was incident CKD, which was defined as an eGFR less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 at the follow-up examination. Study-specific risk estimates were combined using random-effects models. The included studies were stratified into subgroups, and meta-regression analyses were performed.
Fifteen unique cohorts with a total of 99,205 individuals and 3,492 incident CKD cases were included. The relative risk of CKD was 1.22 (95% CI 1.16–1.28, I2 = 65.9%) per 1 mg/dL serum uric level increment. This positive association was consistently observed in subgroups stratified according to most of the study-level characteristics. The observed positive association was more pronounced among group with a mean age <60 years (RR 1.26, 95% CI 1.21–1.31), and low-level heterogeneity was observed in the findings for this age group (I2 = 46.4%, P = 0.022). However, no association was observed among studies with a mean age≥60 years (RR 1.04, 95% CI 0.96–1.13), and no evidence of heterogeneity was evident among the studies (I2 = 0%, P = 0.409). This mean age-related difference in the association between serum uric acid levels and CKD was significant (P = 0.004). The sensitivity analysis results were consistent when the analyses were restricted to studies that controlled for proteinuria and metabolic syndrome.
Our meta-analysis demonstrated a positive association between serum uric acid levels and risk of CKD in middle-aged patients independent of established metabolic risk factors. Future randomized, high-quality clinical trials are warranted to determine whether lowering uric acid levels is beneficial in CKD.
PMCID: PMC4069173  PMID: 24959886
8.  IMproving the imPlemEntation of cuRrent guidelines for the mAnagement of major coronary hearT disease rIsk factors by multifactorial interVEntion. The IMPERATIVE renal analysis 
The short-term effects of multifactorial intervention for cardiovascular disease (CVD) prevention on renal function and serum uric acid (SUA) levels in patients with stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD) and multiple CVD risk factors are unclear. The aim of the study was to prospectively assess these effects.
Material and methods
This post hoc analysis of 5 "best practice" studies involved patients with multiple CVD risk factors. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was assessed using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) formula. Among the 4,153 patients, 1,235 (29.7%) had stage 3 CKD (eGFR between 30 and 59 ml/min/1.73 m2). A baseline visit was followed by a concerted effort from previously trained physicians to improve adherence to lifestyle advice and optimize drug treatment, including a statin, for all vascular risk factors. After 6 months eGFR and SUA levels were re-evaluated.
The intervention improved compliance to lifestyle measures and increased the use of evidence-based medication, including a statin. There was also a 5.6% increase in eGFR (p < 0.001) in patients with stage 3 CKD and a 6.1% reduction in SUA levels (p < 0.001). Among patients with stage 3 CKD, 127 (10.3%) improved to stage 2 CKD and 9 (0.7%) advanced to stage 4 CKD by the end of the 6-month study period. There were no major side-effects.
Multitargeted intervention, including a statin, may improve renal function and reduce SUA levels within 6 months, thus offsetting 2 potential CVD risk factors in high-risk patients.
PMCID: PMC3264990  PMID: 22328881
renal function; uric acid; dyslipidaemia; diabetes mellitus; hypertension; metabolic syndrome; multifactorial intervention; statin
9.  Low-fructose diet lowers blood pressure and inflammation in patients with chronic kidney disease 
Fructose has been strongly linked with hypertension, hyperuricemia and inflammation in experimental models and humans. However, the effect of low-fructose diet on inflammation, hyperuricemia and the progression of renal disease has not yet been evaluated in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Twenty-eight patients (age 59 ± 15 years, 17 males/11 females) with Stages 2 and 3 CKD were switched from a regular (basal) (60.0 g/24 h) to a low (12.0 g/24 h) fructose diet for 6 weeks, followed by a resumption of their regular diet for another 6 weeks. Diet was monitored by a dietician. At the baseline, low- and regular-fructose diet ambulatory blood pressure (BP) was measured and blood sampled for renal function (creatinine), inflammatory markers, fasting glucose and insulin and serum uric acid. Twenty-four-hour urine collections were also obtained for creatinine, uric acid, monocyte chemotatic protein-1, transforming growth factor-beta and N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminidase.
The low-fructose diet tended to improve BP for the whole group (n = 28), while significant reduction of BP was only seen in dippers (n = 20) but not in non-dippers (n = 8). No effects on estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) or proteinuria were observed. Serum uric acid was lowered non-significantly with low-fructose diet (7.1 ± 1.3 versus 6.6 ± 1.0 mg/dL, P < 0.1), whereas a significant decrease in fasting serum insulin was observed (11.2 ± 6.1 versus 8.2 ± 2.9 mIU/mL, P < 0.05) and the reduction persisted after return to the regular diet. A slight but not significant reduction in urinary uric acid and fractional uric acid excretion was observed while the patients were on the low fructose diet. The low-fructose diet also decreased high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) (4.3 ± 4.9 versus 3.3 ± 4.5 mg/L; P < 0.01) and soluble intercellular adhesion molecule (sICAM) (250.9 ± 59.4 versus 227 ± 50.5 ng/mL; P < 0.05). The hsCRP returned to baseline with resumption of the regular diet, whereas the reduction in sICAM persisted.
Low-fructose diet in subjects with CKD can reduce inflammation with some potential benefits on BP. This pilot study needs to be confirmed by a larger clinical trial to determine the long-term benefit of a low-fructose diet compared to other diets in subjects with CKD.
PMCID: PMC3350341  PMID: 21613382
blood pressure; chronic kidney disease; inflammation; low-fructose diet; uric acid
10.  Relationship between Uric Acid and Subtle Cognitive Dysfunction in Chronic Kidney Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;34(1):49-54.
Elevated serum uric acid has been associated with cognitive dysfunction and vascular cognitive impairment in the elderly. Serum uric acid is also commonly elevated in chronic kidney disease (CKD), but its relationship with cognitive function in these patients has not been addressed.
Subjects with CKD (defined as eGFR <60/ml/min/1.73 m2) were evaluated for cognitive dysfunction using the validated Standardized Mini-Mental State Examination (SMMSE). Individuals with dementia, depression or other psychiatric disorders were excluded, as were subjects on uric acid-lowering therapy or with serious illnesses such as severe anemia or active or ongoing cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease.
247 subjects were enrolled. SMMSE scores showed stepwise deterioration with increasing quartile of serum uric acid (26.4; 26.1; 25.5; 25.3, score range 20–30, p = 0.019). Post-hoc analysis demonstrated that there was no linear trend and only groups 1 and 4 were different with respect to SMMSE scores (p = 0.025). Stepwise multivariate linear regression revealed that age, educational status, presence of cerebrovascular disease, and serum uric acid were independently related to SMMSE scores.
Serum uric acid levels are independently and inversely associated with mild cognitive dysfunction in subjects with CKD.
PMCID: PMC3121541  PMID: 21659739
Cognitive function; Chronic kidney disease; Uric acid
11.  Serum Uric Acid and Chronic Kidney Disease: The Role of Hypertension 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(11):e76827.
There are inconsistent findings on the role of hyperuricemia as an independent risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD). Hypertension has been implicated as a factor influencing the association between serum uric acid and CKD. In this population-based study we investigated the association between serum uric acid and decline in renal function and tested whether hypertension moderates this association.
We included 2601 subjects aged 55 years and over from the Rotterdam Study. Serum uric acid and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) were assessed at baseline. After average 6.5 years of follow-up, second eGFR was assessed. CKD was defined as eGFR<60 ml/min/1.73 m2. All associations were corrected for socio-demographic and cardiovascular factors.
Each unit (mg/dL) increase in serum uric acid was associated with 0.19 ml/min per 1.73 m2 faster annual decline in eGFR. While the association between serum uric acid and incidence of CKD was not significant in our study population (Hazard Ratio: 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.98–1.28), incorporating our results in a meta-analysis with eleven published studies revealed a significant association (Relative Risk: 1.18, 95%CI: 1.15–1.22). In the stratified analyses, we observed that the associations of serum uric acid with eGFR decline and incident CKD were stronger in hypertensive subjects (P for interaction = 0.046 and 0.024, respectively).
Our findings suggest that hyperuricemia is independently associated with a decline in renal function. Stronger association in hypertensive individuals may indicate that hypertension mediates the association between serum uric acid and CKD.
PMCID: PMC3827035  PMID: 24265674
12.  Race differences in prevalence of chronic kidney disease among young adults using creatinine-based glomerular filtration rate-estimating equations 
Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation  2010;25(12):3934-3939.
Background. Despite a higher incidence of end-stage renal disease (stage 5), blacks have been shown to have the same or lower prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD stages 3 and 4). Current creatinine-based glomerular filtration rate (GFR)-estimating equations may misclassify young, healthy blacks.
Methods. Among 3501 young adults (mean age 45), we compared the prevalence of CKD in blacks and whites using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) and the CKD Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) equations. In addition, we used measured creatinine excretion rates to determine the actual excretion ratio for CARDIA (race coefficient 12%) and applied this to the CKD-EPI equation. We also studied the prevalence of CKD risk factors among black and white participants near the CKD threshold cut-off (eGFR CKD-EPI 60–80 mL/min/1.73 m2) to estimate the relative likelihood of misclassification in blacks and whites.
Results. Using the MDRD equation, prevalence of CKD stages 4 and 5 was higher for blacks compared with whites (0.6% vs. 0.1%, P-value 0.05). In contrast, prevalence of eGFR <60 mL/min/1.73 m2 was significantly higher for whites (3.6%) compared with blacks (1.9%), due to higher prevalence of stage 3 among whites. Prevalence of CKD was similar for blacks and whites using CKD-EPI equation (1.2%), but was higher among blacks when using the CARDIA-derived race coefficient (1.6% vs.1.2%, P-value = 0.03). Among persons with eGFR by CKD-EPI of 60–80 mL/min/1.73 m2, blacks had higher levels of albuminuria, uric acid, systolic blood pressure and higher diabetes prevalence.
Conclusions. CKD classification among young blacks is very sensitive to the race coefficients. Despite whites having higher rates of CKD stage 3, blacks with eGFRs just above the CKD threshold had higher rates of CKD risk factors. Current equations used to define CKD may systematically miss a high-risk group of blacks at a time in the disease course when interventions are crucial.
PMCID: PMC3108366  PMID: 20519233
chronic kidney disease; glomerular filtration rate; race
13.  Impact of serum uric acid on renal function and cardiovascular events in hypertensive patients treated with losartan 
Hypertension Research  2012;35(8):867-873.
High serum uric acid level (SUA) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) are risk factors for cardiovascular events (CVEs). However, their interactions as cardiovascular risk factors remain unknown. This subanalysis of the Japan Hypertension Evaluation with Angiotensin II Antagonist Losartan Therapy (J-HEALTH) study included 7629 patients, in whom the serum creatinine level was measured at least twice. The study examined the impact of hyperuricemia (SUA ⩾7 mg dl−1) on CVE according to the level of renal dysfunction and whether early changes in SUA predicted future glomerular filtration rates (GFRs). The mean follow-up period was 3.1 years. The patients were divided into three groups according to the baseline estimated GFR (eGFR): groups A, B and C with eGFR <45, 45–59 and ⩾60 ml min−1 per 1.73 m2, respectively. eGFR increased from 38.1 to 57.6, from 52.8 to 67.5 and from 74.7 to 80.7 ml min−1 per 1.73 m2 in groups A, B and C, respectively. In non-hyperuricemic patients, the CVE rate was 10.83, 4.98 and 4.21/1000 person-years in groups A, B and C, respectively, while in hyperuricemic patients, the corresponding values were 14.18, 17.02 and 5.93. Thus, hyperuricemia increased the risk of CVE only in group B (relative risk (RR) 3.43 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.55 to 7.60); P<0.002). The final change in the eGFR was negatively correlated with the change in SUA from baseline to year 1 (P<0.001). CVEs were more frequent in those with a decrease in eGFR. Hyperuricemia may be a major determinant of increased cardiovascular risk in CKD stage 3A, and SUA may be involved in the progression of CKD. Changes in the GFR influence the rate of CVE.
PMCID: PMC3419971  PMID: 22573200
cardiovascular disease; chronic kidney disease; glomerular filtration rate; uric acid
14.  Association between Serum Bilirubin and Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate among Elderly Persons 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(12):e115294.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a major public health problem. However, few studies have examined the significance of serum bilirubin as a risk factor for the development of CKD in the general Japanese population. The subjects comprised 413 men (mean age: 79±9 years; (range, 60–100 years) and 637 women (mean age: 81±8 years; range, 60–106 years) who visited the medical department of Seiyo Municipal Nomura Hospital. We examined the relationship between increased serum bilirubin and renal function that was evaluated by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) using CKD-EPI equations modified by a Japanese coefficient. Stepwise multiple regression analysis with eGFR as the objective variable, and adjusted risk factors as the explanatory variables, showed that serum bilirubin (β = 0.11, P<0.001) was significantly and independently associated with eGFR, in addition to gender, age, prevalence of antihypertensive medication, triglycerides, prevalence of antidiabetic medication, and serum uric acid. Compared with stages 1+2 (eGFR ≥60.0 ml/min/1.73 m2), mean multivariate-adjusted odds ratio {95% (confidence interval (CI)} for hypobilirubinemia (first quartile, <0.52 mg/dL) was 3.52 (range: 1.88–6.59). Next, to control potential confounding factors, data were further stratified by gender, age, medication (antihypertensive, antidyslipidemic, and antidiabetic agents), and prevalence of cardiovascular disease. The standardized coefficient for eGFR was significant in both groups, and there was no interaction between the groups. Our data demonstrated an independent positive association between serum bilirubin and eGFR in both genders. Low serum bilirubin level would be useful as a potential risk factor for renal function.
PMCID: PMC4267840  PMID: 25514359
15.  Correlation between Renal Function and Common Risk Factors for Chronic Kidney Disease in a Healthy Middle-Aged Population: A Prospective Observational 2-Year Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e113263.
Age, proteinuria, metabolic syndrome, and hyperuricemia are the reported risk factors for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, the best predictor of changes in renal function in the early stages of renal disease in a healthy middle-aged population is still unknown. Our study evaluated the correlation between changes in renal function and common risk factors to determine such a predictor.
In total, 2,853 healthy persons aged ≤50 years participated in the study. They had no proteinuria and were not on medications for hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, or hyperuricemia. Over 2 years, participants underwent annual health screening. The relationship between changes in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and changes in risk factors for CKD was evaluated using univariate and multivariate linear regression analyses.
Over 2 years, eGFR showed a significant decrease. Univariate regression analysis revealed that changes in fasting plasma glucose (FPG), total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, serum uric acid levels, and hemoglobin showed a significant negative correlation with changes in eGFR. Multiple regression analysis confirmed that changes in FPG, serum uric acid levels, in particular, and hemoglobin had a significant negative correlation with changes in eGFR.
The changes in eGFR and other variables over 2 years were small and could be within expected biologic variation. A longer observational study is needed to elucidate whether FPG, serum uric acid and hemoglobin represent the earliest markers of eGFR decline.
PMCID: PMC4232529  PMID: 25396414
16.  Elevated Serum Homocysteine Levels Were Not Correlated with Serum Uric Acid Levels, but with Decreased Renal Function in Gouty Patients 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  2014;29(6):788-792.
Hyperhomocysteinemia is one of the important factors of the cardiovascular disease, and gout is well known to be associated with cardiovascular disease. There are a few reports on the serum homocysteine (Hcy) levels in patients with gout, however, the results showed discrepancies. In this study, we measured Hcy levels in patients with gout and examined factors associated with the levels of serum Hcy. Ninety-one male patients with gout and 97 age-matched healthy male controls were enrolled in the study. Serum uric acid levels were not significantly different between gout and healthy control groups. However, serum Hcy levels were significantly higher in patients with gout compared to controls (13.96±4.05 µM/L vs 12.67±3.52 µM/L, P=0.035). In gout group, patients with 1-2 stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) had significantly lower serum Hcy than those with 3-5 stages of CKD (13.15±3.46 µM/L vs 17.45±4.68 µM/L, P<0.001). Multivariate linear analysis revealed an inverse association between serum Hcy and estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) (β=-0.107, P<0.001). In conclusion, serum Hcy was elevated in male patients with gout. Hyperhomocysteinemia was not correlated with serum uric acid, but it was inversely associated with impaired renal function.
Graphical Abstract
PMCID: PMC4055811  PMID: 24932079
Homocysteine; Uric Acid; Gout; Glomerular Filtration Rate
17.  Hyperuricemia is independently associated with endothelial dysfunction in postmenopausal women but not in premenopausal women 
BMJ Open  2013;3(11):e003659.
The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships between uric acid, endothelial function and cardiovascular risk factors and to investigate whether menopausal status was associated with the relationship between uric acid and endothelial function in women.
Cross-sectional study.
3 general hospitals in Japan.
749 Japanese women aged 30–74 years recruited from people who underwent health-screening examinations with agreement for measurement of vascular function.
We measured serum concentrations of uric acid and flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD). Percentage of FMD (peak diameter−baseline diameter/baseline diameter) was used for analysis. Endothelial dysfunction was defined as FMD ≤4.90%, division point for the lowest tertile and the middle tertile of FMD. Menopause women were defined as participants without menstruation for over 1 year or participants with a history of hysterectomy or bilateral oophorectomy.
Of the 749 participants, 368 (49.1%) were premenopausal women and 381 (50.9%) were postmenopausal women. Age, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, glucose, estimated glomerular filtration rate and Framingham risk score were significantly correlated with serum uric acid level. FMD showed a gradual decrease in accordance with the serum uric acid level in the entire study population (<4 mg/dL, 6.85±3.65%; 4 to <5 mg/dL, 6.79±3.60%; 5 to <6 mg/dL, 6.24±3.58%; ≥6 mg/dL, 5.27±3.18%; p=0.01). Multivariate analysis revealed that uric acid was a significantly independent risk factor for endothelial dysfunction in postmenopausal women (OR 1.23, 95% CI 1.01 to 1.50), but not in premenopausal women.
These findings suggest that uric acid can be used as a risk marker of endothelial dysfunction in a female population, and particularly as an independent risk factor in postmenopausal women but not in premenopausal women.
Registration number of the study
PMCID: PMC3822312  PMID: 24213096
Vascular Medicine; Pathology
18.  Association of serum uric acid with proteinuria in type 2 diabetic patients 
Various findings suggest that uric acid is an inflammatory factor and may have a role in endothelial dysfunction and act as a mediator of diabetic nephropathy. The objective of this study was to evaluate the relationships between serum uric acid level and level of proteinuria in type 2 diabetic (T2D) patients.
Materials and Methods:
A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted in 60 patients with T2D without a history of gout. None was treated with allopurinol. Venous blood samples were obtained in fasting state for determinations of serum creatinine, uric acid, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) (reference range 3.8-5.5%); 24-h urine proteinuria was also measured.
Mean age of the patients was 57 ± 8.3 years. Mean ± standard error (SE) of serum creatinine was 0.98 ± 0.028 mg/dL, mean ± SE of serum uric acid was 4.5 ± 0.15 mg/dL, and mean ± SE of proteinuria was 388 ± 28.7 mg/day (median = 303.5 mg/day). There was no significant difference in serum uric acid, HbA1c, and creatinine level between males and females (P > 0.05). There was a significant positive association between body mass index (BMI) and serum uric acid levels (r = 0.428, P = 0.001). After adjustment for weight, a significant positive association of serum uric acid with level of proteinuria was seen (r = 0.47, P < 0.001).
Serum uric acid had a significant positive association with diabetic nephropathy. It might be hypothesized that serum uric acid plays a role in diabetic nephropathy in T2D.
PMCID: PMC3719225  PMID: 23900353
Proteinuria; renal failure; type 2 diabetes mellitus; uric acid
19.  Chronic kidney disease in gout in a managed care setting 
BMC Nephrology  2011;12:36.
To study the prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its impact on allopurinol dosing and uric acid control among patients with gout.
This was a retrospective study using data from a large US health plan. Claims and laboratory data were analyzed for enrollees from the health plan database from January 2002 through December 2005. Patients with gout were identified from pharmacy and medical claims data based on the presence of codes for gout medication or gout diagnosis. Severity of CKD was determined using the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). Allopurinol titration was defined as a change in average daily dose from first prescription to last prescription of ≥ 50 mg.
A total of 3,929 patients were identified for inclusion in this study, 39% of whom had CKD (based on having an eGFR < 90 mL/min/1.73 m2). Subjects with CKD were older (p < 0.01) and more likely to be women (p < 0.01), had a greater number of comorbid conditions (p < 0.01), and were more likely to be prescribed allopurinol (p < 0.01) compared to those with no CKD. The average starting dose of allopurinol was lower among those with CKD, and it decreased with worsening kidney function. Among the 3,122 gout patients who used allopurinol, only 25.6% without CKD and 22.2% with CKD achieved a serum uric acid concentration of < 6.0 mg/dL (p = 0.0409). Also, only 15% of allopurinol users had an upward dose titration (by ≥50 mg), but the average increase in dose did not differ significantly between those with and without CKD.
About two out of every five patients with gout in this population had CKD. Allopurinol doses were not adjusted in the majority of CKD patients. Serum uric acid control in gout was poor among patients without CKD and even worse among those with CKD.
PMCID: PMC3174872  PMID: 21812963
20.  Uric acid: association with rate of renal function decline and time until start of dialysis in incident pre-dialysis patients 
BMC Nephrology  2014;15:91.
In patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) hyperuricemia is common. Evidence that hyperuricemia might also play a causal role in vascular disease, hypertension and progression of CKD is accumulating. Therefore, we studied the association between baseline uric acid (UA) levels and the rate of decline in renal function and time until start of dialysis in pre-dialysis patients.
Data from the PREPARE-2 study were used. The PREPARE-2 study is an observational prospective cohort study including incident pre-dialysis patients with CKD stages IV-V in the years between 2004 and 2011. Patients were followed for a median of 14.9 months until start of dialysis, kidney transplantation, death, or censoring. Main outcomes were the change in the rate of decline in renal function (measured as estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)) estimated using linear mixed models, and time until start of dialysis estimated using Cox proportional hazards models.
In this analysis 131 patients were included with a baseline UA level (mean (standard deviation (SD)) of 8.0 (1.79) mg/dl) and a mean decline in renal function of -1.61 (95% confidence interval (CI), -2.01; -1.22) ml/min/1.73 m2/year. The change in decline in GFR associated with a unit increase in UA at baseline was -0.14 (95% CI -0.61;0.33, p = 0.55) ml/min/1.73 m2/year. Adjusted for demography, comorbidities, diet, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, lipids, proteinuria, diuretic and/or allopurinol usage the change in decline in eGFR did not change. The hazard ratio (HR) for starting dialysis for each mg/dl increase in UA at baseline was 1.08 (95% CI, 0.94;1.24, p = 0.27). After adjustment for the same confounders the HR became significant at 1.26 (95% CI, 1.06;1.49, p = 0.01), indicating an earlier start of dialysis with higher levels of UA.
Although high UA levels are not associated with an accelerated decline in renal function, a high serum UA level in incident pre-dialysis patient is a risk factor for an earlier start of dialysis.
PMCID: PMC4075499  PMID: 24939671
Uric acid; CKD progression; Pre-dialysis; Prospective cohort
21.  Uric Acid and Long-term Outcomes in CKD 
Hyperuricemia is prevalent in chronic kidney disease (CKD); however data are limited on the relationship of uric acid levels with long term outcomes in this patient population.
Study Design
Cohort Study
Setting & Participants
The Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) Study was a randomized controlled trial (N=840), conducted 1989–1993, to examine the effects of strict blood pressure control and dietary protein restriction on progression of stage 3–4 CKD. This analysis included 838 patients.
Uric acid
Outcomes & Measurements
The study evaluated the association of baseline uric acid levels with all-cause mortality, cardiovascular (CVD) mortality, and kidney failure.
Mean (SD) age was 52 (12) years, glomerular filtration rate was 33 (12) ml/min/1.73m2, and uric acid was 7.63 (1.66) mg/dl. During a median follow-up of 10 years, 208 (25%) participants died of any cause, 127 (15%) from CVD, and 553 (66%) reached kidney failure. In multivariate models, the highest tertile of uric acid was associated with increased risk of all-cause (HR, 1.57 [95% CI, 1.07–2.32]) mortality, a trend towards CVD mortality (HR, 1.47 [95% CI, 0.90–2.39]) and no association with kidney failure (HR, 1.20 [95% CI, 0.95–1.51), compared to the lowest tertile. In continuous analyses, a 1-mg/dl higher uric acid was associated with 17% increased risk of all-cause (HR, 1.17 [95% CI, 1.05–1.30]), and 16% increased risk of CVD mortality (HR, 1.16 [95% CI, 1.01–1.33]), but was not associated with kidney failure (HR, 1.02 [95% CI, 0.97–1.07]).
Primary analyses were based on single measurement of uric acid. The results are primarily generalizable to relatively young white patients with predominantly non-diabetic CKD.
In stage 3–4 CKD, hyperuricemia appears to be an independent risk factor for all-cause and CVD mortality but not kidney failure.
PMCID: PMC2691553  PMID: 19303683
22.  Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation on Arterial Vasomotion, Stiffness and Endothelial Biomarkers in Chronic Kidney Disease Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e91363.
Cardiovascular events are frequent and vascular endothelial function is abnormal in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). We demonstrated endothelial dysfunction with vitamin D deficiency in CKD patients; however the impact of cholecalciferol supplementation on vascular stiffness and vasomotor function, endothelial and bone biomarkers in CKD patients with low 25-hydroxy vitamin D [25(OH)D] is unknown, which this study investigated.
We assessed non-diabetic patients with CKD stage 3/4, age 17–80 years and serum 25(OH)D <75 nmol/L. Brachial artery Flow Mediated Dilation (FMD), Pulse Wave Velocity (PWV), Augmentation Index (AI) and circulating blood biomarkers were evaluated at baseline and at 16 weeks. Oral 300,000 units cholecalciferol was administered at baseline and 8-weeks.
Clinical characteristics of 26 patients were: age 50±14 (mean±1SD) years, eGFR 41±11 ml/min/1.73 m2, males 73%, dyslipidaemia 36%, smokers 23% and hypertensives 87%.
At 16-week serum 25(OH)D and calcium increased (43±16 to 84±29 nmol/L, p<0.001 and 2.37±0.09 to 2.42±0.09 mmol/L; p = 0.004, respectively) and parathyroid hormone decreased (10.8±8.6 to 7.4±4.4; p = 0.001). FMD improved from 3.1±3.3% to 6.1±3.7%, p = 0.001.
Endothelial biomarker concentrations decreased: E-Selectin from 5666±2123 to 5256±2058 pg/mL; p = 0.032, ICAM-1, 3.45±0.01 to 3.10±1.04 ng/mL; p = 0.038 and VCAM-1, 54±33 to 42±33 ng/mL; p = 0.006. eGFR, BP, PWV, AI, hsCRP, von Willebrand factor and Fibroblast Growth Factor-23, remained unchanged.
This study demonstrates for the first time improvement of endothelial vasomotor and secretory functions with vitamin D in CKD patients without significant adverse effects on arterial stiffness, serum calcium or FGF-23.
Trial Registration NCT02005718
PMCID: PMC3960127  PMID: 24646518
Experimental and observational studies suggest a role for uric acid in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We examined the association between serum uric acid levels and NAFLD in a large population-based study from the United States.
A cross-sectional analysis of 10,732 nondiabetic adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988–1994. Sex specific uric acid quartiles were defined: ≤5.2, 5.3–6.0, 6.1–6.9, and >6.9 mg/dL for men and ≤3.7, 3.8–4.5, 4.6–5.3, and >5.3 mg/dL for women. NAFLD presence and severity were defined by ultrasonographic detection of steatosis in the absence of other liver diseases. We modeled the probability that more severe NAFLD would be associated with the highest quartiles of uric acid.
Compared to the 1st quartile, the odds ratio for NAFLD was 1.79 (95% C.I. 1.49–2.15, p < 0.001) and 3.14 (95% C.I. 2.63–3.75, p < 0.001) for the 3rd and 4th quartiles, respectively. After adjusting for demographics, hypertension, waist circumference, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, homeostasis model assessment-estimated insulin resistance, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and aspartate aminotransferase, uric acid (4th quartile) was significantly associated with NAFLD (odds ratio 1.43; 95% C.I. 1.16–1.76, p < 0.001). Positive parameter estimates suggest increasing uric acid is associated with greater severity of NAFLD.
Elevated uric acid level is independently associated with ultrasound-diagnosed NAFLD in a nationally representative sample of United States nondiabetic adults. Increasing uric acid is associated with increasing severity of NAFLD on ultrasonography. These findings warrant further studies on the role of uric acid in NAFLD.
PMCID: PMC3565047  PMID: 23036645
hyperuricemia; NHANES; metabolic syndrome
24.  Elevated Blood Pressure and Serum γ -Glutamyltransferase as Significant Characteristics of Smokers With Chronic Kidney Disease 
Nephro-urology Monthly  2014;6(4):e20746.
Smoking is a risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, it is speculated that only a small subset of sensitive smokers develop CKD.
We aimed to reveal the characteristics of such smokers sensitive to the renal effects of smoking with respect to cardiovascular (CV) risk factors associated with smoking and/or CKD.
Patients and Methods:
Renal functions and CVD risk factors were assessed in middle-aged male workers. The patients were comprised of 336 nonsmokers, 332 smokers currently smoking up to one pack per day, and 38 who smoked more than one pack per day. CKD was determined by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) from serum creatinine and urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR). The independent and interactive effects of smoking and CKD on the CVD risk factors adjusted for age, body mass index, alcohol consumption, and physical activity were statistically analyzed.
In comparison to nonsmokers, smokers had significantly higher waist circumference, white blood cells (WBC), serum triglycerides, γ-glutamyltransferase (GGT), and C-reactive protein (CRP) and lower serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and uric acid. On the other hand, blood pressure (BP) and WBC tended to be higher in those showing CKD than others. Serum GGT and fasting plasma glucose were significantly higher, and insulin resistance index of homeostatic model assessment (HOMA-IR) tended to be higher in those with CKD. Serum CRP was especially high in those with moderate to severe CKD. A significant interactive effect of smoking and CKD on BP and serum GGT levels was detected, i.e. BP and GGT were not different in the subjects among nonsmokers with and without CKD, but were conspicuously high among smokers with CKD. No significant interactive effect was found on either HOMA-IR or serum CRP.
Smokers with a higher BP and/or serum GGT may be at a higher risk of developing CKD. The associations of BP and serum GGT with CKD in smokers are not entirely mediated by increased insulin resistance or chronic inflammation caused by smoking.
PMCID: PMC4317723
Smoking; Chronic Kidney Disease; Blood Pressure; Serum gamma-glutamyltransferase; Insulin resistance; Inflammation
25.  Prevalence and determinants of chronic kidney disease in community-dwelling elderly by various estimating equations 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:343.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) represents a global public health problem. Few data exist in the elderly. The objective of the current study is to estimate the prevalence of CKD by means of various established and new equations and to identify the main determinants of CKD in elderly.
The ActiFE Ulm (Activity and Function in the Elderly in Ulm) study is a population-based cohort study in people of 65 years and older. Kidney function was assessed by means of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) based on two creatinine- (Cr-; MDRD, CKD-EPI) and one cystatin C - (CysC-) based method. The relationship between various potential risk factors and CKD was quantified using unconditional logistic regression.
A total of 1471 subjects were in the final analysis (mean age 75.6 years, SD 6.56). Overall, prevalence of CKD (eGFR < 60 mL/min/1.73 m2) was 34.3% by MDRD, 33.0% by CKD-EPI, and 14.6% by the CysC-based eGFR. All eGFRs showed statistically significant correlations with C-reactive protein, uric acid, as well as with lipid values. In multivariable analysis age was clearly related to prevalence of CKD and the risks were highest with the CysC-based equation. Females had a higher risk for CKD stages 3–5 with MDRD (OR 1.63; 95% CI: 1.23–2.16) whereas the OR was 1.23 (95% CI 0.92–1.65) with the CKD-Epi and OR = 0.89 (95% CI 0.58–1.34) with the CysC-based equation after multivariable adjustment. Although the cystatin C based definition of CKD resulted in a lower prevalence compared to the creatinine based ones, other measures of renal damage such as albuminuria were more prevalent in those defined by CysC-eGFR.
Prevalence of CKD is very variable based on the used estimating equation. More work is needed to evaluate the various estimating equations especially in elderly before we are able to assess the practical consequences of the observed differences.
PMCID: PMC3490787  PMID: 22574773
Elderly; Chronic kidney disease; Population-based study; Estimating equations; Risk factors

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