Regular physical activity prevents development of hypertension in young people with hyperuricemia

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The association of serum uric acid (SUA) with risk of hypertension is controversial and may be modulated by lifestyle factors. We did a prospective study to investigate whether SUA was an independent predictor of hypertension in the young and whether physical activity influences this association.


The study was conducted in a cohort of 1156 young to middle-age participants screened for stage 1 hypertension and followed for a median of 11.4 years. In multivariable Cox analyses, participants were stratified by tertiles of uric acid and physical activity habits.


At follow-up end, 63.3% of the study participants developed hypertension needing treatment. In the whole group, SUA was an independent predictor of future hypertension (P = 0.005). Participants with SUA more than 5.60 mg/dl (top tertile) had a 31% increase in risk compared with those of the bottom tertile. However, the risk of hypertension related to SUA was increased only among the sedentary participants with a hazard ratio of 1.44 (95% confidence interval, 1.11–1.88) for the participants of the top SUA tertile. In contrast, among the active participants no association was found between SUA and risk of hypertension. Alcohol intake was another modulator of the SUA-hypertension relationship (hazard ratio, 95% confidence interval: 1.38, 1.02–1.87). Plasma renin activity, office and ambulatory heart rates, and metabolic variables were proportional to SUA level and were lower in active than sedentary participants.


These data confirm that SUA is a predictor of hypertension and suggest that exercise may counteract the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the association between hyperuricemia and future hypertension.

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