Diabetes research and clinical practice

Serum uric acid concentration is associated with worsening in severity of diabetic retinopathy among type 2 diabetic patients in Taiwan--a 3-year prospective study.

PMID 25108898


To explore the role of serum uric acid (SUA) concentration in diabetic retinopathy (DR) for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). A 3-year prospective study in 749 patients with T2DM and without proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) was conducted at a medical center. Baseline SUA concentration and parameters of glycemic control, blood pressure, kidney disease, and lipid profiles were analyzed to determine their contribution to DR. Fundus examination showed that 184 patients (24.6%) had non-proliferative retinopathy and 565 (75.4%) without DR at baseline. After 3 years, increase in the severity of DR was recognized in 103 patients (13.8%), including 81 patients with newly developed DR. Patients with increase in severity of DR positively associated with duration of DM (11.9 vs. 9.4 years, p = 0.001), HbA1c (7.6 vs. 7.2%, p = 0.001), albuminuria (45.5 vs. 31.0%, p = 0.006), and SUA (6.47 vs. 5.87 mg/dl, p<0.001) than did those without change in DR stage. Cox regression showed that patients with SUA in the 3rd (5.9-6.9 mg/dl) and 4th (≥ 7.0mg/dl) quartiles had hazard ratios for DR worsening of 2.57 and 3.66 (95% C.I. 1.30-5.08 and 1.92-7.00) when compared with patients with SUA in the 1st quartile (<4.9 mg/dl). SUA concentration is associated with the increase in severity of DR over a 3-year period in patients with T2DM. Further study is required to define the exact role of SUA in DR.