Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Hyperuricaemia: a marker of increased cardiovascular risk in rheumatic patients: analysis of the ACT-CVD cohort

Inger L Meek12*, Harald E Vonkeman1 and Mart AFJ van de Laar1

Author Affiliations

1 Arthritis Centre Twente, University Twente and Medisch Spectrum Twente, Po Box 5000, 7500KA Enschede, Netherlands

2 UMC St Radboud afd, Reumatische Ziekten, huispost 470, Po Box 9101, 6500HB Nijmegen, Netherlands

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BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2014, 15:174  doi:10.1186/1471-2474-15-174

Published: 23 May 2014



Gout and hyperuricaemia may be associated with increased cardiovascular risk, but analyses in different populations show conflicting results. This study investigates the impact of serum uric acid, inflammation and traditional CV risk parameters on CV event risk in patients with gouty arthritis and patients with non-gouty rheumatic disease.


cross-sectional and prospective multivariate analysis of the relation between tertiles of serum uric acid and individual traditional CV risk factors in a cohort of gouty arthritis (GA, n=172), rheumatoid arthritis (RA, n=480) and osteoarthritis (OA, n=206) patients. Main outcome measures: systolic blood pressure, TC/HDL ratio, GlyHb, BMI and first CV events.


Individual CV risk factors were significantly less favourable in GA (systolic blood pressure, TC/HDL ratio, BMI, p<0.05). In RA and OA, but not in GA, individual cardiometabolic parameters correlated with serum uric acid values (OA: RA: systolic blood pressure, TC/HDL ratio, BMI; systolic blood pressure, TC/HDL ratio, GlyHb, BMI; p<0.05). In non-GA individuals the highest tertile of serum uric acid (>0.34 mmol/L) and NT proBNP level were independent predictors of first CV events, against age and GlyHb level in GA (p<0.05). The hazard of first CV events was equally significantly increased in GA patients (HR 3.169, 95% CI 1.287-7.806) and non-GA individuals with a serum uric acid ≥ 0.34 mmol/L (HR 3.721, 95% CI 1.603-8.634) compared to non-GA individuals with a serum uric acid < 0.27.


GA is associated with a 3.1-fold hazard of first CV events. In non-GA rheumatic patients increasing serum uric acid is associated with increased CV risk, whereas CV risk in GA is independent of serum uric acid values. The presence of GA or a baseline serum uric acid in the upper range are possibly stronger predictors of first CV events than some traditional CV risk factors or parameters of inflammation.

Hyperuricaemia; Gout; Arthritis; Osteoarthritis; Inflammation; Cardiovascular risk; Allopurinol