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July 21, 2009 at 5:16 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

High Blood Levels of Uric Acid Are Correlated with Obesity and Hypertension

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

There are many studies that have associated high blood uric acid levels with the presence of both obesity and hypertension. The connections between uric acid production, obesity, and hypertension are intricate and require some understanding of how uric acid is produced and excreted.

Uric Acid: What Is It?

Uric acid is produced as a waste product by the body. Uric acid is produced as this waste from the metabolism (breakdown) of specific substances located in the foods we consume known as purines. Normally, uric acid located within the blood is delivered to the kidneys.

Uric Acid and Your Kidneys

The kidneys are responsible for the detection and filtration of uric acid from the blood to be excreted from the body in the form of urine. When uric acid builds up in the bloodstream it is cause for the formation of kidney stones, leading to kidney damage or kidney failure, and a certain type of arthritis known as gout. All of these conditions are possible to occur when the kidneys can not effectively eliminate excess levels of uric acid from the blood.

Uric Acid Levels in the Blood: What is Normal?

A blood test is utilized to calculate the amount of uric acid present in the blood. These numbers vary based on gender and are also different for children. The normal blood value range of uric acid for men is 3.4 - 7.0 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). The normal range of uric acid within the blood for women is 2.4 - 6.0 mg/dL. This range for children is 2.5 - 5.5 mg/dL. When there is a presence of high levels of uric acid within the blood, it is scientifically known as hyperuricemia.

Uric Acid and Obesity: The Connections

Obesity has been correlated to increase the overall risk for the development of high levels of uric acid within the blood. Individuals with a BMI that indicates obesity are much more likely to develop the presence of higher uric acid levels. However, the exact molecular mechanisms connecting uric acid and obesity remain particularly unknown.

Uric Acid and Hypertension: The Connections

There are many studies that strongly correlate the presence of high uric acid levels with the development of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension. In fact, elevated uric acid levels are commonly used by physicians as a risk factor for the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular complications. Again, the molecular mechanisms responsible for these connections remain widely unknown and debated.

Uric Acid, Obesity, and Hypertension: The Connections

Certain preliminary laboratory studies have connected the presence of uric acid within the blood with increase in overall blood pressure. Obesity has been linked with cardiovascular disease and hypertension development for a long period of time. It is suggested that high levels of uric acid only act to promote the overall development and maintenance of high blood pressure, particularly within individuals that have other risk factors for the development of high blood pressure, including obesity.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/uric-acid/AN01122

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/uric-acid-in-blood

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003476.htm

http://www.ccjm.org/PDFFILES/Heinig12_06.pdf

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