A new study suggests patients with moderately elevated serum uric acid levels may be less likely to suffer from severe liver disease than those with lower levels.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a poor diet and a lack of exercise are most commonly cited as factors that can lead to high serum uric acid levels.
Uric acid is a toxic substance produced in the body, which can result in elevated levels of blood sugar, high triglycerides, hyperglycemia and hypertension. It can also accumulate in blood vessels to cause a buildup of fat, all of which can lead to liver damage and disease.
Researchers found that patients with very high serum uric acid levels – levels above 3.0 ng/dL – were the least likely to suffer severe liver disease.
“Because of this relationship between elevated serum uric acid levels and liver disease, our study suggested that bariatric surgery should be considered for patients with moderately elevated serum uric acid levels,” researchers wrote in their findings, published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
The study measured serum uric acid levels using body mass index (BMI) and estimated fasting plasma glucose, which can be useful tools for screening liver disease.
Researchers said patients may be more inclined to undergo bariatric surgery if they meet the study’s criteria for extremely high uric acid levels – but patients with elevated serum uric acid may want to consider other weight loss options first.
“Our study may impact current bariatric surgical decisions based on elevated serum uric acid levels. However, our data only apply to patients who are considering bariatric surgery; patients with borderline borderline high serum uric acid may want to investigate other strategies, such as dietary modifications or alcohol intake control,” researchers wrote.
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