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Serum urate and its relationship with alcoholic beverage intake in men and women: findings from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort
  1. Angelo L Gaffo1,2,
  2. Jeffrey M Roseman3,
  3. David R Jacobs Jr4,5,
  4. Cora E Lewis6,
  5. James M Shikany6,
  6. Ted R Mikuls7,8,
  7. Pauline E Jolly3,
  8. Kenneth G Saag2
  1. 1Birmingham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  2. 2Division of Rheumatology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  4. 4Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
  5. 5Department of Nutrition, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  6. 6Division of Preventive Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  7. 7Section of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
  8. 8Omaha Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kenneth G Saag, FOT 820 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA; ksaag{at}


Objective To investigate if beer, liquor (spirits), wine and total alcohol intakes have different associations with serum urate (SU) concentrations at different ages in a cohort of young men and women.

Methods Data from 3123 participants at baseline and follow-up at 20 years were used, with balanced proportions of Caucasians and African Americans. The relationships of SU with categories of beer, liquor, wine and total alcohol intake referent to no intake were examined in sex-specific, cross-sectional analyses.

Results Mean age (SD) at the beginning of follow-up was 25.1 (3.6) years. Compared with non-drinkers, significant associations between higher SU concentrations and greater beer intake were observed among men and women, with more pronounced and consistent associations for women. An association between greater liquor intake and higher SU concentrations was only seen for men at the year 20 evaluation. Wine intake was not associated with SU in either sex and total alcohol was associated with higher SU concentrations in both men and women. The magnitude of the associations between alcoholic beverages intake and SU was modest (≤0.03 mg/dl/alcoholic beverage serving).

Conclusion An association between higher SU concentrations and greater beer intake was consistent and pronounced among women, but also present in men. Despite the small magnitude of the increases in SU associated with alcohol intake, clinical implications in conditions such as cardiovascular disease and gout in young adults who are moderate and heavy drinkers cannot be ruled out.

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  • Competing interests KGS has served as consultant for Takeda and Savient.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.