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April 1987

Is Thiazide-Produced Uric Acid Elevation Harmful?Analysis of Data From the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program

Arch Intern Med. 1987;147(4):645-649. doi:10.1001/archinte.1987.00370040027005

• Interaction of thiazide diuretics and the serum uric acid and creatinine levels was studied in 3693 stepped care participants in the Hypertension Detection and Follow-up Program not receiving treatment at baseline. Among men grouped into quartiles by their level of uric acid at baseline, the upper quartile (average uric acid, 7.7 mg/dL [458 μmol/L]) had an average serum creatinine level of 1.2 mg/dL (106 μmol/L) and the lowest quartile (uric acid, 4.9 mg/dL [291 μmol/L]) had an average serum creatinine level of 1.1 mg/dL (97 μmol /L). Similar findings were present in women. Therapy with chlorthalidone or other thiazide-type diuretics tended to increase levels of uric acid and creatinine, but the increase in both was less in the upper quartile than in the lower quartile. Among individuals who were prescribed uric acid—lowering drugs, the level of serum creatinine increased just as much as in those whose uric acid level was not pharmacologically lowered. Baseline uric acid level was a weak predictor of mortality in men; the introduction of an interaction term for creatinine suggested that this effect was primarily restricted to those with elevated levels of both uric acid and creatinine at baseline. Change in uric acid level at one year after therapy was inversely correlated with mortality in men. There were few episodes of gout (only 15 recorded in five years among 3693 participants at risk). These results suggest that neither the baseline uric acid level nor the change in uric acid level produced by therapy injures the kidney. These results suggest no reason to lower uric acid levels pharmacologically in the treated hypertensive patient who is not gouty. They leave unanswered whether there is a predictive value to baseline uric acid level not explainable by other correlated cardiovascular risk factors.

(Arch Intern Med 1987;147:645-649)