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Study links uric acid to bone health, hip fractures

April 29, 2014
by Pamela Tabar, Editor-in-Chief
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High levels of uric acid in the blood stream can increase the risk of hip fractures in older men, noted a University of Colorodo–Denver study presented at this week’s National Kidney Foundation spring clinical meeting in Las Vegas.

The study included data from nearly 4,700 men and women over an 11-year period. Men over age 65 who had uric acid levels over 7 mg/dL experienced a 62 percent higher incidence of hip fractures than men with lower uric acid levels.

Interestingly, the researchers noted, the same correlations were not found in women of a similar age. "We were not able to find a relationship between uric acid and hip fractures in women, suggesting that other factors are more important in women,” said Tapan Mehta, MD, one of the study’s presenters, in an article in MedPage Today.

The study also reinforces the importance of diet, since the consumption of sugar and animal proteins raises uric acid. The men in the study who had high levels of uric acid also tended to be overweight and have high insulin values, presenters said.

High levels of uric acid contribute to other chronic problems, such as kindey stones, kidney disease, gout and high blood pressure.