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A Mendelian randomization study of circulating uric acid and type 2 diabetes.

  • Ivonne Sluijs
  • Michael V Holmes
  • Yvonne T van der Schouw
  • Joline Wj Beulens
  • Folkert W Asselbergs
  • José María Huerta
  • Tom M Palmer
  • Larraitz Arriola
  • Beverley Balkau
  • Aurelio Barricarte
  • Heiner Boeing
  • Françoise Clavel-Chapelon
  • Guy Fagherazzi
  • Paul Franks
  • Diana Gavrila
  • Rudolf Kaaks
  • Kay Tee Khaw
  • Tilman Kühn
  • Esther Molina-Montes
  • Lotte Maxild Mortensen
  • Peter Nilsson
  • Kim Overvad
  • Domenico Palli
  • Salvatore Panico
  • J Ramón Quirós
  • Olov Rolandsson
  • Carlotta Sacerdote
  • Núria Sala
  • Julie A Schmidt
  • Robert A Scott
  • Sabina Sieri
  • Nadia Slimani
  • Annemieke Mw Spijkerman
  • Anne Tjonneland
  • Ruth C Travis Dphil
  • Rosario Tumino
  • Daphne L van der A
  • Stephen J Sharp
  • Nita G Forouhi
  • Claudia Langenberg
  • Elio Riboli
  • Nicholas J Wareham
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 3028-3036
Publication/Series: Diabetes
Volume: 64
Issue: 8
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: American Diabetes Association Inc.

Abstract english

We aimed to investigate the causal effect of circulating uric acid concentrations on type 2 diabetes risk. A Mendelian randomization study was performed using a genetic score with 24 uric acid associated loci. We used data of the EPIC-InterAct case-cohort study, comprising 24,265 individuals of European ancestry from eight European countries. During a mean (SD) follow-up of 10 (4) years, 10,576 verified incident type 2 diabetes cases were ascertained. Higher uric acid associated with higher diabetes risk following adjustment for confounders, with a HR of 1.20 (95%CI: 1.11,1.30) per 59.48 µmol/L (1 mg/dL) uric acid. The genetic score raised uric acid by 17 µmol/L (95%CI: 15,18) per SD increase, and explained 4% of uric acid variation. Using the genetic score to estimate the unconfounded effect found that a 59.48 µmol/L higher uric acid concentration did not have a causal effect on diabetes (HR 1.01, 95%CI: 0.87,1.16). Including data from DIAGRAM consortium, increasing our dataset to 41,508 diabetes cases, the summary OR estimate was 0.99 (95%CI: 0.92, 1.06). In conclusion, our study does not support a causal effect of circulating uric acid on diabetes risk. Uric acid lowering therapies may therefore not be beneficial in reducing diabetes risk.


  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology
  • Internal Medicine
  • ISSN: 1939-327X
Paul Franks
E-mail: paul [dot] franks [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Principal investigator

Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology

+46 40 39 11 49



Lund University Diabetes Centre, CRC, SUS Malmö, Entrance 72, House 91:12. SE-205 02 Malmö. Telephone: +46 40 39 10 00