Uric Acid - key ingredient in the recipe for cardiorenal metabolic syndrome

Kunal Chaudhary, Kunal Malhotra, James Sowers, Annayya Aroor
Cardiorenal Medicine 2013, 3 (3): 208-220
Elevated serum uric acid levels are a frequent finding in persons with obesity, hypertension, cardiovascular and kidney disease as well as in those with the cardiorenal metabolic syndrome (CRS). The increased consumption of a fructose-rich Western diet has contributed to the increasing incidence of the CRS, obesity and diabetes especially in industrialized populations. There is also increasing evidence that supports a causal role of high dietary fructose driving elevations in uric acid in association with the CRS. Animal and epidemiological studies support the notion that elevated serum uric acid levels play an important role in promoting insulin resistance and hypertension and suggest potential pathophysiological mechanisms that contribute to the development of the CRS and associated cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease. To this point, elevated serum levels of uric acid appear to contribute to impaired nitric oxide production/endothelial dysfunction, increased vascular stiffness, inappropriate activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, enhanced oxidative stress, and maladaptive immune and inflammatory responses. These abnormalities, in turn, promote vascular, cardiac and renal fibrosis as well as associated functional abnormalities. Small clinical trials have suggested that uric acid-lowering therapies may be beneficial in such patients; however, a consensus on the treatment of asymptomatic hyperuricemia is lacking. Larger randomized controlled trials need to be performed in order to critically evaluate the beneficial effect of lowering serum uric acid in patients with the CRS and those with diabetes and/or hypertension.

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