About 3,500 participants with pre-hypertension were followed for 5 years. Authors found that adults with pre-hypertension and hyperuricemia were at a higher risk of advancing to gross hypertension, compared to those with normal uric acid levels.
Should serum uric acid be checked in persons with borderline high blood pressure? If elevated, should it be treated? Further research would be required to answer these clinical dilemmas.
Uric acid, a risk for metabolic anomalies
Prehypertension frequently progresses to hypertension, a condition associated with high morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular diseases and stroke. However, the risk factors for developing hypertension from prehypertension remain poorly understood.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the data from 3584 prehypertensive Japanese adults (52.1±11.0 years, 2081 men) found to be prehypertensive in 2004 and reexamined in 2009. We calculated the cumulative incidences of hypertension over 5 years, examined risk factors, and calculated odds ratios (ORs) for developing hypertension after adjustments for age, sex, body mass index, smoking and drinking habits, baseline systolic and diastolic blood pressure, pulse rate, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia, chronic kidney disease, and serum uric acid levels.
The additional analysis evaluated whether serum uric acid (hyperuricemia) constituted an independent risk factor for developing hypertension. The cumulative incidence of hypertension from prehypertension over 5 years was 25.3%. There were no significant differences between women and men.
The cumulative incidence of hypertension in subjects with hyperuricemia (n=726) was significantly higher than those without hyperuricemia (n=2858; 30.7% versus 24.0%; P<0.001). After multivariable adjustments, the risk factors for developing hypertension from prehypertension were age (OR, 1.023; P<0.001), female sex (OR, 1.595; P<0.001), higher body mass index (OR, 1.051; P<0.001), higher baseline systolic (OR, 1.072; P<0.001) and diastolic blood pressure (OR, 1.085; P<0.001), and higher serum uric acid (OR, 1.149; P<0.001).
Increased serum uric acid is a strong risk marker for developing hypertension from prehypertension. Further studies are needed to determine whether treatment of hyperuricemia in prehypertensive subjects could impede the onset of hypertension.