Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. Short sleep duration was associated with high uric acid levels, whereas poor sleep quality was associated with low uric acid levels.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

A proper balance of uric acid levels is vital to one’s health, because of its role in antioxidation and neuroprotection. Hyperuricemia affects 20% of people worldwide, and is related to conditions such as gout, chronic kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease, as well as early mortality. However, low uric acid is also related to diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Both sleep quality and duration are thought to influence uric acid levels, but previous literature has not studied this association with both sleep factors simultaneously, and the same sample population. The current study from Taiwan examines the correlation between these sleep factors and uric acid levels. The sample included 4,592 adult patients who self-opted for a general health assessment at a university hospital. Sleep duration was assessed as short (< 7 hours), normal (7-9 hours), or long (>9 hours). Sleep quality was assessed using the self-evaluated Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), which looks at factors such as sleep duration, percent of time spent asleep while in bed, time taken to fall asleep, sleep medication use, and sleep disturbances. The study found that poor quality sleepers were associated with lower uric acid levels (correlation coefficient -0.085, 95% CI -0.161—0.008, P = 0.030). As well, those with short sleep durations were associated with high uric acid levels (correlation coefficient 0.106, 95% CI 0.31-0.181, P = 0.006). Overall, this study elucidates how different sleep factors can be associated with both high and low uric acid levels, as well as provides potential support for guidelines directed at patients with uric acid imbalance.

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