• Albuminuria;
  • cohort studies;
  • microalbuminuria;
  • uric acid;
  • urine albumin–creatinine ratio



Elevated serum uric acid (UA) could be a risk factor for hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. In addition, elevated serum UA may be associated with impaired renal function. However, it is unclear whether elevated serum UA is a cause of microalbuminuria or not. Therefore, we performed a prospective cohort study of the temporal relationship between baseline elevated serum UA and the development of microalbuminuria in Korean men.

Design and methods

A microalbuminuria-free cohort of 1743 healthy Korean men, who had their urine albumin–creatinine ratio (UACR) calculated for a medical check-up programme in 2005, was followed until 2010. Microalbuminuria was defined as a urine albumin–creatinine ratio between 30 and 300 μg/mg. Cox proportional hazards model was performed.


During 5884·6 person-years of follow-up, 96 incident cases of microalbuminuria developed between 2006 and 2010. After adjusting for multiple covariates, the hazard ratios (95% confidence intervals) for incident microalbuminuria when comparing the second tertile to the third tertile of serum UA levels vs. the first tertile were 1·52 (0·86–2·70) and 2·27 (1·30–3·98), respectively (P for trend = 0.005).


Elevated serum UA level was independent risk factor for the development of microalbuminuria during a 5-year follow-up in Korean men.