Association of serum uric acid levels with COVID-19 severity

Link to article at PubMed

BMC Endocr Disord. 2021 May 8;21(1):97. doi: 10.1186/s12902-021-00745-2.

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Hyperuricemia has attracted increasing attention. However, limited concern has been paid to the potential dangers of lowering serum uric acid (SUA). We observed lower levels of SUA in patients with COVID-19. Therefore, we aim to explore whether patients with COVID-19 had SUA lower than normal and the relationship of SUA and the severity of COVID-19.

METHODS: This was a case-control study based on 91 cases with COVID-19 and 273 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects. We first compared SUA levels and uric acid/creatinine (UA/Cr) ratio between patients with COVID-19 and the healthy controls. Then, we examined the association of SUA levels and UA/Cr ratios with COVID-19 severity in COVID-19 cases only, defined according to the fifth edition of China's Diagnosis and Treatment Guidelines of COVID-19.

RESULTS: SUA levels in patients with COVID-19 were 2.59% lower, UA/Cr ratios 6.06% lower at admission compared with healthy controls. In sex stratified analysis, levels of SUA and UA/Cr were lower in male patients with COVID-19 while only level of SUA was lower in female patients with COVID-19. Moreover, SUA and UA/Cr values were 4.27 and 8.23% lower in the severe group than that in the moderate group among male COVID-19 patients. Bivariate and partial correlations analysis showed negative correlations between SUA or UA/Cr ratio and COVID-19 after adjusting for age, sex, BMI and eGFR. A multiple linear regression analysis showed that SARS-CoV-2 infection and male sex were independent risk factors associated with lower SUA levels. Male patients with COVID-19 accompanied by low SUA levels had higher risk of developing severe symptoms than those with high SUA levels (incidence rate ratio: 4.05; 95% CI:1.11, 14.72) at admission. Comparing SUA and UA/Cr ratio at three time points (admission, discharge, and follow-up), we found that male patients experienced severe symptoms had lower SUA and UA/Cr ratio levels comparing to moderate patients, but no significant difference between three time points. On the contrary, female patients had lower SUA and UA/Cr ratio at discharge than those at admission, but no significant difference of SUA and UA/Cr ratio between moderate and severe group.

CONCLUSION: Patients with COVID-19 had SUA and UA/Cr values lower than normal at admission. Male COVID-19 patients with low SUA levels had a significantly higher crude risk of developing severe symptoms than those with high SUA levels. During disease aggravation, the level of SUA gradually decreased until discharge. At the follow-up exam, the level of SUA was similar to the levels at admission.

PMID:33964922 | DOI:10.1186/s12902-021-00745-2

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