Asymptomatic Hyperuricemia Associated With Increased Risk of Kidney Stones

By Cailin Conner - September 8, 2023

Asymptomatic hyperuricemia, a significant risk factor for gout, was found to be associated with an increased risk of developing nephrolithiasis (kidney stones).

The study, published in BMC Public Health, included 22,303 patients aged 30 to 79 years. Investigators employed standardized face-to-face interviews, medical examinations, and biochemical tests to collect data. Their primary objective was to explore “whether hyperuricemia itself or serum uric acid (SUA) is related to the risk of nephrolithiasis.”

Researchers used logistic regression analysis to estimate the relationship between hyperuricemia and nephrolithiasis and a restricted cubic spline (RCS) model to explore the dose-response relationship between SUA levels and the risk of nephrolithiasis.

Among the patients included in the study, 14.5% had hyperuricemia and 12.1% were diagnosed with nephrolithiasis. After accounting for various potential confounding factors, the researchers discovered a significant association between hyperuricemia and the risk of developing nephrolithiasis. Patients with hyperuricemia were found to have an odds ratio of 1.464 (95% CI, 1.312-1.633; P<.001) compared with those without hyperuricemia.

The RCS analysis revealed that as SUA levels increased, so did the risk of nephrolithiasis. This dose-response relationship was consistent in both males and females. In males, the risk of nephrolithiasis increased when SUA levels exceeded 356 μmol/L, while in females, the threshold was 265 μmol/L.

“Before reaching the diagnostic criteria for hyperuricemia, the risk of nephrolithiasis rises with the increase in SUA,” the investigators concluded. “This [finding] suggests that controlling SUA levels may be significant for the prevention of nephrolithiasis.”

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