Low Serum Urate Level Tied to Low Lean Mass, Underweight


WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17, 2022 — Low serum urate (SU) concentrations are associated with low lean mass, underweight, and higher rates of weight loss, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Joshua F. Baker, M.D., from the Corporal Michael J. Crescenz Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to examine the relationship between low SU and body composition and whether this relationship confounded the association between SU and mortality.

The researchers found that low SU concentrations were associated with low lean mass, underweight body mass index, and higher rates of weight loss among the 13,979 participants. The proportion of patients with low appendicular lean mass index z-scores was 29 and 16 percent in the low and normal SU groups, respectively. Before adjusting for body composition, low SU was associated with increased mortality, but the association was no longer statistically significant after adjustment for body composition and weight loss.

“These observations support what many have intuited, namely that people with low serum urate levels have higher mortality and worse outcomes not because low urate is bad for health, but rather that low urate levels tend to occur among sicker people, who have lost weight and have adverse body composition,” Baker said in a statement.

Abstract/Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

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