The aim of this study was to assess the correlation between blood lead levels and both serum uric acid and hyperuricemia in adult residents living within an area of China with lead pollution. We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of 2120 subjects (1180 of whom were male) between the ages of 20 and 75 years who had undergone health examinations at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a lead-polluted area of China between June 2013 and September 2014.
Blood lead was positively correlated with serum uric acid in both males (r = 0.095, p
= 0.001) and females (r = 0.134, p
< 0.001). Multivariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that for males, blood lead (p
= 0.006), age (p
= 0.001), current smoking (p
= 0.012), education (p
= 0.001), triglycerides (TG) (p
< 0.001), and serum creatinine (p
< 0.001) were independently associated with serum uric acid. For females, blood lead (p
< 0.001), body mass index (BMI) (p
= 0.009), and TG (p
< 0.001) were independently associated with serum uric acid. After multiple adjustments, blood lead was significantly associated with a higher prevalence of hyperuricemia when female subjects were categorized into quartiles (for the highest quartile vs.
the lowest quartile, odds ratio (OR) = 2.190; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.106–4.338; p
= 0.025); however, no such association was observed for male subjects. Continuous lead exposure has an independent impact on serum uric acid for both males and females, although this impact is more pronounced for females than for males. Lead exposure is significantly associated with hyperuricemia for females but not for males.
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