Uric acid (UA) is a potent endogenous antioxidant. However, high concentrations of this molecule have been associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and renal dysfunction, involving mechanisms that include oxidative stress, inflammatory processes, and endothelial injury. Experimental and in vitro
results suggest that this biomarker behaves like other antioxidants, which can shift from the physiological antioxidant action to a pro-oxidizing effect according to their level and to microenvironment conditions. However, data on patients (general population or CAD cohorts) are controversial, so the debate on the role of hyperuricemia as a causative factor for CVD is still ongoing. Increasing evidence indicates UA as more meaningful to assess CVD in women, even though this aspect needs deeper investigation. It will be important to identify thresholds responsible for UA “biological shift” from protective to harmful effects in different pathological conditions, and according to possible gender-related differences. In any case, UA is a low-tech and inexpensive biomarker, generally performed at patient’s hospitalization and, therefore, easily accessible information for clinicians. For these reasons, UA might represent a useful additive tool as much as a CV risk marker. Thus, in view of available evidence, progressive UA elevation with levels higher than 6 mg/dL could be considered an “alarm” for increased CV risk.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited