Association between serum uric acid level and ESRD or death in a Korean population

Kipyo Kim, Suryeong Go, Hyung Eun Son, Ji Young Ryu, Hajeong Lee, Nam Ju Heo, Ho Jun Chin, Jung Hwan Park

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Background: Serum uric acid (SUA) is recognized as a risk factor for chronic kidney disease (CKD) and mortality. However, there is controversy as to whether a high or low level of SUA is related to the risk of CKD progression or death, and whether it differs between males and females. Methods: We included 143,762 adults who underwent voluntary health screening between 1995 and 2009 in Korea. For each sex, we divided participants into sex-specific quintiles according to SUA levels and compared end-stage renal disease (ESRD) incidence and mortality between the groups with low and high SUA levels and those with middle SUA levels. Sex-specific Cox proportional hazard analyses were performed for ESRD and all-cause mortality. Results: Among the 143,762 participants, 0.2% (n = 272) developed ESRD. The hazard ratio (HR) of ESRD was higher in the highest (adjusted HR, 2.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.18-3.84) and lowest (adjusted HR, 1.90; 95% CI, 1.02-3.51) SUA quintiles than in the middle SUA quintile in males and the highest SUA quintile in females (adjusted HR, 2.31; 95% CI, 1.10-4.84). Four-point three percent (n = 6,215) of participants died during a mean follow-up period of 157 months. The hazard ratio (HR) of all-cause mortality was higher in the highest SUA quintile than in the middle SUA quintile in males (adjusted HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.03-1.28) and females (adjusted HR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.01-1.35). Conclusion: Elevated levels of SUA are associated with increased risk for ESRD and all-cause mortality in both sexes. Low levels of SUA might be related to ESRD and death only in males, showing U-shaped associations. Our findings suggest sex-specific associations between SUA levels and ESRD development and mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere254
JournalJournal of Korean Medical Science
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Risk Factors
  • Uric acid

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