Current Rheumatology Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 118–124 | Cite as

Gout, Hyperuricemia, and the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease: Cause and Effect?

  • Ankoor Shah
  • Robert T. Keenan


Gout and hyperuricemia have long been suspected to be risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, studies have frequently failed to distinguish whether these entities have an independent effect on cardiovascular risk or serve as markers for other risk factors. In vitro and animal studies suggest that uric acid is a biologically active compound that can increase inflammatory mediators known to lead to vascular damage. In contrast, uric acid also has potentially protective effects as a strong antioxidant, approaching the potency of vitamin C. Large clinical trials demonstrate a consistent relationship between elevated serum uric acid and a variety of cardiovascular diseases, although the strength of association varies greatly. We review the evidence for and against an independent role for hyperuricemia and/or gout in cardiovascular pathology.


Gout Hyperuricemia Cardiovascular disease Inflammation 



The authors wish to thank Dr. Michael Pillinger for use of the figure.


No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Rheumatology and ImmunologyDuke University School of MedicineDurhamUSA

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