Uric acid does not affect the prevalence and extent of coronary artery disease. Results from a prospective study

G De Luca, G G Secco, M Santagostino, L Venegoni, S Iorio, E Cassetti, M Verdoia, L Coppo, C Di Mario, G Bellomo, P Marino
Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases: NMCD 2012, 22 (5): 426-33

BACKGROUND: Hyperuricemia may be involved in the atherosclerotic process due to endothelial dysfunction and facilitation of smooth muscle cell proliferation. However, debates still exist on the independent role of hyperuricemia, due to its association with several cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, hyperlipidemia, obesity and insulin resistance. Thus, the aim of the current study was to investigate in a consecutive cohort of patients undergoing coronary angiography whether hyperuricemia is associated with the extent of coronary artery disease.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Our population is represented by a total of 1901 consecutive patients undergoing coronary angiography between May 2007 and January 2010 at the Azienda Ospedaliera "Maggiore della Carità", Novara, Italy. We additionally evaluated platelet aggregation by PFA-100 (Collagen/Epinefrine) and Multiplate. Quantitative coronary angiography and analysis of IMT were performed by experienced cardiologists who had no knowledge of the patients' clinical information. Higher uric acid was associated with advanced age, larger prevalence of male gender, diabetes, renal insufficiency, hypertension, previous CABG and MI, but with a lower prevalence of family history of CAD. Patients with high uric acid were more often on calcium antagonists, ace-inhibitors, angiotensin receptor antagonists, and, as expected, on diuretics. A significant relationship was observed between uric acid and the prevalence (OR [95% CI] = 1.18 [1.04-1.32], p = 0.01) and severity of CAD (OR [95% CI] = 1.17 [1.03-1.33], p = 0.014). However, the relationship disappeared after correction for baseline confounding factors for both prevalence (OR [95% CI] = 1.06 [0.93-1.21], p = 0.35) and extent of CAD (OR [95% CI] = 1.0 [0.87-1.15], p = 0.96). No relationship was observed between acid uric and IMT (p = 0.73) analyzed in 359 consecutive patients. Finally, there was no relationship between uric acid and platelet aggregation in patients with or without aspirin therapy, as measured by PFA-100 and Multiplate.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that uric acid is not associated with platelet aggregation, the extent of coronary artery disease and IMT. Thus, waiting for the results of additional large studies, uric acid may not be considered as a risk factor for coronary artery disease, and its reduction by specific therapies may not be recommended to prevent coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis.

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