The relationships between serum uric acid, serum glucose and diabetes have been examined in a survey of 7735 middle-aged men drawn at random from general practices in 24 British towns. There was a positive relationship between serum glucose and serum uric acid concentrations up to about 8.0 mmol/l; at higher levels of glucose, serum uric acid decreased. Uric acid levels were significantly reduced in insulin-dependent diabetics and in those on oral hypoglycaemics and also in 'non-diabetics' with casual glucose levels greater than 10 mmol/l. Both uric acid and glucose concentrations were positively related to body mass index; only uric acid was positively related to alcohol intake. Men on antihypertensive treatment had raised levels of uric acid (significant) and glucose (non-significant). The positive relationship between serum uric acid and serum glucose could not be explained by associations with body mass index, alcohol intake, age, social class, gout or treatment for hypertension. It probably reflects the biochemical interaction between serum glucose and purine metabolism, with increased excretion of uric acid during hyperglycaemia and glycosuria.
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