Uric acid and endothelial function in elderly community-dwelling subjects

Andrea Ticinesi, Fulvio Lauretani, Gian Paolo Ceda, Carmelinda Ruggiero, Luigi Ferrucci, Rosalia Aloe, Anders Larsson, Tommy Cederholm, Lars Lind, Tiziana Meschi, Marcello Maggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The role of serum uric acid (SUA), an inflammatory agent and potential mediator of cardiovascular diseases, in endothelial function (EF) has been tested only in middle-aged subjects affected by specific diseases. Our aim was to assess the relationship between SUA and measures of EF in a cohort of elderly community-dwellers. This study involved 424 males and 426 females aged 70 years from the Prospective Study of the Vasculature in Uppsala Seniors (PIVUS), having complete data on SUA and EF assessed by flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD) and by intra-arterial infusion of acetylcholine (endothelium-dependent vasodilation, EDV) and sodium nitroprusside (endothelium-independent vasodilation, EIDV). Univariate and multivariate regression models obtained by backward selection from initial fully-adjusted models were built to assess the relationship between SUA and measures of EF in both genders. Cardiovascular risk factors, serum hormonal and metabolic mediators, and body composition were considered as potential confounders. In the univariate model, SUA was inversely associated in both genders with log(EDV) (β ± SE males − 0.39 ± 0.17, p = 0.03; females − 0.57 ± 0.19, p = 0.003) and log(EIDV) (males − 0.23 ± 0.12, p = 0.05; females − 0.49 ± 0.15, p = 0.002), but not with log(FMD). After adjustment for BMI, only the association between SUA and log(EIDV) in females persisted, though attenuated (− 0.32 ± 0.16, p = 0.049), and was no longer significant in the fully-adjusted multivariate model including waist/hip ratio. In conclusion, in older subjects, especially women, SUA is associated with EF not independently of a list of confounders including BMI and trunk fat mass, suggesting a role as surrogate metabolic marker rather than an active player in EF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Endothelium
  • Metabolism
  • Nitric oxide
  • Vasodilation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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