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Higher serum uric acid is associated with poorer cognitive performance in healthy middle-aged people: a cross-sectional study

journal contribution
submitted on 2024-01-15, 08:59 and posted on 2024-01-16, 11:21 authored by Yousef Khaled, Aya A. Abdelhamid, Hissa Al-Mazroey, Abdulrahman K. Almannai, Sara Fetais, Aisha S. Al-Srami, Shaima Ahmed, Noora Al-Hajri, Ayman Mustafa, Tawanda Chivese, Laiche Djouhri

Age-related cognitive impairment can occur many years before the onset of the clinical symptoms of dementia. Uric acid (UA), a metabolite of purine-rich foods, has been shown to be positively associated with improved cognitive function, but such association remains controversial. Moreover, most of the previous studies investigating the association included elderly participants with memory-related diseases. Therefore, the present study aimed at investigating whether serum UA (sUA) is associated with cognitive performance in healthy middle-aged individuals. We conducted a cross-sectional study on a cohort of middle-aged individuals (40–60 years old) who participated in the Qatar Biobank. The participants had no memory-related diseases, schizophrenia, stroke, or brain damage. They were divided according to sUA level into a normal group (< 360 μmol/L) and a high group (≥ 360 μmol/L), and underwent an assessment of cognitive function using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Two cognitive function domains were assessed: (a) speed of reaction/reaction time and (b) short-term visual memory. The median age of the 931 participants included in the study was 48.0 years (IQR: 44.0, 53.0), of which 47.6% were male. Adjusted multivariable linear regression analyses showed that higher sUA is associated with poorer performance on the visual memory domain of cognitive function (β = − 6.87, 95% CI − 11.65 to − 2.10, P = 0.005), but not on the speed of reaction domain (β = − 55.16, 95% CI − 190.63 to 80.30, P = 0.424). Our findings support previous studies suggesting an inverse association between high sUA levels and cognitive function in elderly and extend the evidence for such a role to middle-aged participants. Further prospective studies are warranted to investigate the relationship between UA and cognition.

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Published in: Internal and Emergency Medicine
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Open Access funding provided by the Qatar National Library.



  • English


Springer Nature

Publication Year

  • 2023

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This Item is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Institution affiliated with

  • Qatar University
  • Qatar University Health - QU
  • College of Medicine - QU HEALTH
  • Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research Unit - QU HEALTH

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