Gender-specific association of serum uric acid with metabolic syndrome and its components in juvenile obesity


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Abstract

BackgroundHyperuricemia has been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and related metabolic abnormalities. Studies on the association between serum uric acid (sUA) and metabolic syndrome (MetS) in juvenile obesity are scant. The effect of gender has not been evaluated.MethodssUA (uricase method), anthropometric and biochemical indices were measured in gender-stratified children/adolescents consisting of 113 overweight/obese and 71 lean individuals.ResultsIn males, sUA was significantly elevated in overweight as well as obese patients. sUA was strongly associated with obesity indices and reflected sexual development, decreases in high density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and moderately, the number of MetS components. Waist circumference (WC) and Tanner stage explained 40% of sUA variability. Controlling for body mass index (BMI) and other MetS components, sUA was associated with abdominal obesity, explaining 30% of variability in WC. In females, sUA was significantly increased in obesity, high blood pressure (BP), and MetS and corresponded with the number of MetS components, indices of glucose metabolism, triglycerides (TG), and the atherogenecity index. Insulin-resistance (IR) (homeostasis model assessment; HOMA) and high BP explained 29% of sUA variability, whereas sUA, while controlling for BMI, age, and other MetS components, was associated with hypertriglyceridemia, hyperglycemia, high BP, and abdominal obesity. IR mediated the associations with high TG and glucose.ConclusionsThe association between sUA and MetS components in juvenile obesity is gender-specific, with females being related more closely and to more metabolic abnormalities. It may explain why, despite its lower concentrations, sUA is an independent predictor of mortality from all causes and from vascular diseases exclusively in females. Our findings may help in identifying metabolic abnormalities which may possibly be targeted by reducing sUA in males and females.

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