Serum uric acid plays a protective role for bone loss in peri- and postmenopausal women: A longitudinal study

18 March 2014

Objective: Oxidative stress has been linked to osteoporosis. Serum uric acid (UA), a strong endogenous antioxidant, has been associated with higher bone mineral density (BMD), lower bone turnover and lower prevalence of fractures in a large cross-sectional study of men. Whether this relationship is present in women and how UA relates to changes in BMD longitudinally has not been examined. Methods: A sample of 356 peri- and postmenopausal women, mean age 60.5 years was studied. Each individual had baseline BMD and body composition measurements by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and at least one repeat measure, on average 9.7 years later. Annual rate of change in BMD (A%Delta BMD) was calculated. UA was measured at each DXA visit. Calciotropic hormones and bone turnover markers were measured at the final visit only. Results: Cross-sectional data analyses revealed that women with higher UA levels had significantly higher absolute BMD measures at all skeletal sites. These women also had higher measures of body weight and its components such as lean mass (LM) and fat mass (FM). Results of multiple regression analyses showed a positive association between UA and BMD that remained significant even after accounting for possible confounders including LM and FM. Regression analyses of the longitudinal BMD data demonstrated significant associations between serum UA levels and annual rates of change in BMD at all skeletal sites. After adjustment associations remained significant for lumbar spine, forearm and whole body BMD but not for hip BMD. Conclusion: Higher serum UA levels appear to be protective for bone loss in peri- and postmenopausal women and this relationship is not affected by changes in body composition measures.