Who’s at Risk for High Uric Acid?

Serum uric acid measurements are the definitive indicators of uric acid elevation, but a thorough assessment of diet and lifestyle factors can also provide many clues about who is likely to develop uric acid problems down the road, said Dr. Perlmutter.

He recommended asking patients about the following factors:

  • Fruit juice (any kind) consumption
  • Intake of sugar sweetened beverages (including sodas, flavored teas, sports drinks
  • Sugary foods (including cereals, baked goods, dried fruits, candy)
  • Xylitol
  • Intake of wild game meats (venison, veal, moose, elk, buffalo)
  • Organ meats
  • Red meat (beef, lamb, pork, ham)—more than 3 times per week can be problematic
  • High intake of high-purine seafoods (sardines, anchovies, mackerel, mussels, scallops, herring, haddock)
  • Deli meats, bacon, processed meats
  • Consumption of Beer & liquor
  • Use of diuretics or low dose aspirin
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Immunosuppressive drugs (cyclosporine), beta blockers
  • Overweight or obese
  • High blood pressure
  • History of psoriasis/joint injuries
  • Presence of metabolic disorders
  • Family history of gout/kidney conditions
  • Sleep problems
  • Sedentary lifestyle / lack of regular exercise

To varying degrees, all of these factors raise uric acid levels. So will sudden infections (like COVID), excessive exercise, excessive fasting, and extreme “crash” diets.

Many common drugs also increase UA levels, including:

  • Aspirin (at doses of 60–300 mg daily)
  • Testosterone replacement therapy
  • Topiramate (Topamax, an anticonvulsive)
  • Ticagrelor (Brilinta, a blood thinner)
  • Sildenafil (Viagra)
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Cyclosporine
  • Niacin (vitamin B3; e.g., Niacor)
  • Acitretin (Soriatane)
  • Filgrastim (Neupogen)
  • L‑dopa, or levodopa (Sinemet)
  • Theophylline (Theo‑24)
  • Diuretics
  • Beta- blockers (propranolol and atenolol)


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