The association between serum uric acid and diabetic complications in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus by gender: A cross-sectional study

Yimeng Hu, Qinge Li, Rui Min, Yingfeng Deng, Yancheng Xu, Ling Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background. The relationship between serum uric acid (SUA) and several diabetic complications or co-morbidities remains a matter of debate. The study aims to explore the association between SUA levels and the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), diabetic retinopathy (DR), diabetic nephropathy (DN) and diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods. A total of 2,809 participants (1,784 males and 1,025 females) were included in this cross-sectional study. Clinical characteristics and the prevalence of each of the four diseases were analyzed based on gender-specific quartiles of SUA levels. The Pearson correlation analysis and linear-regression analysis were used to access the correlation between SUA levels and clinical characteristics. Furthermore, a binary logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine whether SUA was an independent risk factor for each of the four complications. Results. SUA levels were positively correlated to BMI, BUN, Scr and TG, but negatively associated with eGFR, HDL, FBG, 2h-PG and HbA1c% for the patients with T2DM. The prevalence of NAFLD and DN, but not DR or DPN, were increased with SUA levels from the first to the fourth quartile. Binary logistic regression further disclosed that SUA was an independent risk factor for NAFLD (ORs Male = 1.002, P = 0.0013; ORs Female = 1.002, P = 0.015) and DN (ORs Male = 1.006, P < 0.001; ORs Female = 1.005, P < 0.001), but not for DR and DPN. After adjustment for the confounders, SUA levels were significantly associated with NAFLD within the 3rd (ORs = 1.829, P = 0.004) and 4th quartile (ORs = 2.064, P = 0.001) for women, but not independently associated with SUA for man. On the other hand, our results revealed increased prevalence of DN for SUA quartile 2 (ORs = 3.643, P = 0.039), quartile 3 (ORs = 3.967, P = 0.024) and quartile 4 (ORs = 9.133, P < 0.001) in men; however, SUA quartiles were significantly associated with DN only for quartile 4 (ORs = 4.083, P = 0.042) in women Conclusion. For patients with T2DM, elevated SUA concentration is an independent risk factor for the prevalence of NAFLD and DN after adjustment for other indicators, but not DR or DPN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10691
StatePublished - Jan 13 2021


  • Diabetic nephropathy
  • Diabetic peripheral neuropathy
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Serum uric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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