Hyperuricaemia has been reported to be significantly associated with risk of obesity. However, previous studies on the association between serum uric acid (SUA) and body mass index (BMI) yielded conflicting results. The present study examined the relationship between SUA and obesity among Chinese adults.
Data were collected at Guangdong Second Provincial General Hospital in Guangzhou City, China, between January 2010 and December 2018. Participants with ≥2 medical check-up times were included in our analyses. Physical examinations and laboratory measurement variables were obtained from the medical check-up system. The high SUA level group was classified as participants with hyperuricaemia, and obesity was defined as BMI ≥28 kg/m2. Logistic regression model was performed for data at baseline. For all participants, generalised estimation equation (GEE) model was used to assess the association between SUA and obesity, where the data were repeatedly measured over the 9-year study period. Subgroup analyses were performed by gender and age group. We calculated the cut-off values for SUA of obesity using the receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) technique.
A total of 15 959 participants (10 023 men and 5936 women) were included in this study, with an average age of 37.38 years (SD: 13.27) and average SUA of 367.05 μmol/L (SD: 97.97) at baseline, respectively. Finally, 1078 participants developed obesity over the 9-year period. The prevalence of obesity was approximately 14.2% for high SUA level. In logistic regression analysis at baseline, we observed a positive association between SUA and risk of obesity: OR=1.84 (95% CI: 1.77 to 1.90) for per-SD increase in SUA. Considering repeated measures over 9 year for all participants in the GEE model, the per-SD OR was 1.85 (95% CI: 1.77 to 1.91) for SUA and the increased risk of obesity were greater for men (OR=1.45) and elderly participants (OR=1.01). In subgroup analyses by gender and age, we observed significant associations between SUA and obesity with higher risk in women (OR=2.35) and young participants (OR=1.87) when compared with men (OR=1.70) and elderly participants (OR=1.48). The SUA cut-off points for risk of obesity using ROC curves were approximately consistent with the international standard.
Our study observed higher SUA level was associated with increased risk of obesity. More high-quality research is needed to further support these findings.