Elevated uric acid level suggests targeted screening for iron overload and hemochromatosis. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Uric acid as a potential cue to screen for iron overload.
J Am Board Fam Med. 2011 Jul-Aug;24(4):415-21. PMID: 21737766
Department of Family Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: It is suggested that targeted screening for hemochromatosis and iron overload may be worthwhile. The aim of this study was to examine uric acid as a potential indicator of the presence of iron overload.
METHODS: We analyzed adults aged 20 and older in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999 to 2002. We computed logistic regressions controlling for age, sex, race/ethnicity, liver or kidney condition, and alcohol use to see the relationship between combinations of uric acid and ferritin with the outcomes of elevated liver enzymes and proteinuria.
RESULTS: In unadjusted analyses, 20.7% of individuals with high uric acid had high ferritin levels versus 8.8% of individuals with low uric acid levels (P<.001). Individuals with both elevated uric acid and elevated ferritin levels had significantly higher liver enzymes than individuals with either elevated uric acid or ferritin. With low uric acid and low ferritin as the reference category, individuals with high uric acid and high ferritin were significantly more likely to also have proteinuria (odds ratio, 2.66; 95% CI, 1.82-3.91).
CONCLUSIONS: Elevated levels of uric acid is associated with elevated ferritin levels and may serve as a risk stratification variable for presence of iron overload and hemochromatosis.