Persistent organic pollutants and hyperuricemia in the U.S. general population

Yu-Mi Lee, Sang-Geun Bae, Seon-Hwa Lee, David R Jacobs, Duk-Hee Lee
Atherosclerosis 2013, 230 (1): 1-5

BACKGROUND: Background exposure to persistent organic pollutants (POPs) has emerged as a new risk factor for metabolic syndrome (MetS), while hyperuricemia is associated with MetS through unclear mechanisms.

OBJECTIVE: We examined cross-sectional data for consistency with the hypothesis that POPs are a common underlying risk factor of both MetS and hyperuricemia.

METHODS: We evaluated associations of POPs with hyperuricemia in subjects aged ≥20 years in the population-based National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004. Sample size was n = 1331 for organochlorine (OC) pesticides and n = 1299 for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

RESULTS: Among all subjects, the risk of hyperuricemia was higher for higher serum concentrations of OC pesticides, PCDDs, and dioxin-like PCBs. PCDFs and nondioxin-like PCBs did not show any clear trend. Adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for OC pesticides, PCDDs, and dioxin-like PCBs were 1.0, 2.4, 2.3, 3.0, and 2.5 (P trend = 0.05), 1.0, 1.6, 1.4, 2.1, and 2.5 (P trend = 0.01), and 1.0, 1.3, 1.4, 1.3, and 2.4 (P trend = 0.04). When we restricted the analyses to subjects without MetS, all these associations appeared to strengthen.

CONCLUSION: This study is consistent with our hypothesis that the risk of hyperuricemia relates to background exposure to a mixture of POPs even among persons without MetS. There should be further research about whether avoiding exposure to POPs and otherwise decreasing body burden of POPs would be helpful to prevent or manage hyperuricemia or gout.

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