Urate may have effects on vascular remodeling and atherosclerosis. We had shown an association between serum uric acid (SUA) and carotid atherosclerotic plaques. Inflammation and vascular remodeling in atherosclerosis promote coronary artery calcification (CAC), a preclinical marker for atherosclerosis. Here, we examined whether SUA is associated with CAC, using the same study sample and methods as for our previous carotid atherosclerosis study. Methods: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Family Heart Study is a multicenter study designed to assess risk factors for heart disease. Participants were recruited from population-based cohorts in the US states of Massachusetts, North Carolina, Minnesota, Utah, and Alabama. CAC was assessed with helical computed tomography (CT). We conducted sex-specific and family-cluster analyses, as well as additional analyses among persons without risk factors related to both cardiovascular disease and hyperuricemia, adjusting for potential confounders as we had in the previous study of carotid atherosclerosis. Results: For the CAC study, 2412 subjects had both SUA and helical CT results available (55% women, age 58 ± 13 yrs, body mass index 27.6 ± 5.3). We found no association of SUA with CAC in men or women [OR in men: 1.0, 1.11, 0.86, 0.90; women: 1.0, 0.83, 1.00, 0.87 for increasing categories of SUA: < 5 (referent group), 5 to < 6, 6 to < 6.8, ≥ 6.8 mg/dl, respectively], nor in subgroup analyses. Conclusion: Replicating the methods used to demonstrate an association of SUA with carotid atherosclerosis did not reveal any association between SUA and CAC, suggesting that SUA likely does not contribute to atherosclerosis through effects on arterial calcification. The possibility that urate has divergent pathophysiologic effects on atherosclerosis and artery calcification merits further study.
- Coronary artery calcification
- Uric acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy