Background: Both the serum uric acid (SUA) level and elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) are related to metabolic syndrome. However, the association between SUA and elevated ALT has not been elucidated in the general population. The objective of this study was to investigate the association between SUA and elevated ALT in the general population of China; Methods: A total of 11,572 adults (≥35 years of age) participated in this survey. Elevated ALT was defined as >40 U/L. SUA ≥ 7.0 mg/dL in males or ≥6.0 mg/dL in females was defined as hyperuricemia. SUA within the reference range was divided into quartiles, and its associations with elevated ALT were evaluated by logistic regressions; Results: A total of 7.4% participants had elevated ALT. The prevalence of hyperuricemia was 14.9% in males and 7.3% in females. There was a significantly positive dose-response association between SUA levels and the prevalence of elevated ALT. After adjusting for potential confounders, a positive relationship for elevated ALT was observed in subjects with hyperuricemia (odds ratio [OR]: 2.032, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.443–2.861 for men; OR: 2.045, 95% CI: 1.221–3.425 for women, both p
< 0.05). Within the reference range, the association between SUA and elevated ALT persisted in the fourth quartile (OR: 1.467, 95% CI: 1.063–2.025 for men; OR: 1.721, 95% CI: 1.146–2.585 for women, both p
< 0.05); Conclusions: Our results indicated that an increased SUA level, even within the reference range, was independently associated with elevated ALT in Chinese adults.
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