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August 10, 1963

Social Class Gradient of Serum Uric Acid Levels in Males

Author Affiliations

Pittsburgh; Ann Arbor, Mich.; Pittsburgh; Ann Arbor, Mich.

Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Dr. Dunn), formerly Assistant Professor of Epidemiology (Dr. Mausner), Associate Professor of Medicine (Dr. Rodnan), University of Pittsburgh. Research Associate (Dr. Brooks), Program Director (Dr. Cobb), Survey Research Center; Research Epidemiologist, Mental Health Research Institute, Lecturer in Epidemiology (Dr. Cobb), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

JAMA. 1963;185(6):431-436. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060060029012

The purpose of this study was to determine the variability of serum uric acid levels in normal males and to present evidence for a social class gradient as reflected by occupation and education. Executives had a mean serum uric acid level of 5.73 mg% compared with 4.77 mg% for craftsmen. Forty-three per cent of executives had a serum urate value greater than 6.0 mg%. Factors of individual variability, age, disease, and drug ingestion were not responsible for this difference. An association of obesity with elevation of serum urate level was found in both groups. Additional studies on scientists, medical school students, and high school students showed some degree of association of serum urate with intelligence and excellence of all-round performance, but not with social class of family of origin. The factor of achieved social class warrants further investigation.

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