Uric Acid Excretion Predicts Increased Blood Pressure Among American Adolescents of African Descent

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Abstract

Background:

Hyperuricemia predicts the incidence of hypertension in adults and its treatment has blood pressure (BP)-lowering effects in adolescents. To date, no studies have examined the predictive usage of hyperuricemia or urinary uric acid excretion on BP changes in adolescents. Mechanistic models suggest that uric acid impairs both endothelial function and vascular compliance, which would potentially exacerbate a myriad of hypertensive mechanisms, yet little is known about interaction of uric acid and other hypertension risk factors.

Materials and Methods:

The primary study was aimed at the effects of stress on BP in adolescents. A community sample of 84 low-income, urban adolescents (50% male, 95% African American, mean age = 13.36 ± 1 years) was recruited from public schools. Youth completed a 12-hour (overnight) urine collection at home and their BP was measured during rest and in response to acute psychosocial stress. Seventy-six of the adolescents participated in a follow-up visit at 1.5 years when their resting BP was reassessed. In this substudy, we assessed the relationship of renal urate excretion and BP reactivity.

Results:

After adjusting for resting BP levels at baseline and other covariates, higher levels of uric acid excretion predicted greater BP reactivity to acute psychosocial stress and higher resting BP at 18 months.

Conclusions:

Urinary excretion of uric acid can serve as an alternative, noninvasive measure of serum uric acid levels that are predictive of BP changes. As hyperuricemia-associated hypertension is treatable, urban adolescents may benefit from routine screening for hyperuricemia or high uric acid excretion.

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