Hypertension is one of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular diseases and a prominent contributor to morbidity and premature death. According to the National Family Health Survey 2019-2020, around 24% of men and 21% of women in India have hypertension. The Government of India launched the India Hypertension Control Initiative, or IHCI, in 2017 to improve blood pressure control rates and accessibility of treatment services.
The primary goal of IHCI focuses to reduce the prevalence of hypertension by almost 25% by 2025. Interestingly, the IHCI has enrolled over 2.5 million patients with hypertension in more than 15000 health facilities across the country. How can uric acid test contribute to the management of hypertension? The following post provides an answer by reflecting on the relationship between the levels of uric acid and hypertension.
General Information about Uric Acid
The best way to understand the ways to use uric acid testing in managing hypertension is to learn about uric acid. Uric acid is the byproduct of purine metabolism and is one of the most common causes of kidney stones and gout. Generally, the uric acid levels in mammals are considerably low due to the presence of uricase enzyme. The uricase enzyme helps in degrading uric acid to produce allantoin. Humans lost the ability to produce uricase due to mutation in the Miocene epoch, almost 15 million years ago. The serum uric acid levels in humans vary from 3 to 4 mg/dl in the normal range.
Cause of Alarm Regarding Uric Acid Levels
The radical growth in levels of serum uric acid over the course of the last ten decades has created concerns regarding its health impact. One of the prominent factors which have accompanied the rise in uric acid levels points to growing obesity, primarily driven by the consumption of the Western diet. Foods which have fructose-based sugars and higher concentrations of purine are more likely to increase uric acid levels in patients.
For example, added sugars in fruit juices and soft drinks alongside high-calorie intake through fast food in adolescents contributes to growth in uric acid levels. Furthermore, chronic health conditions such as insulin resistance, chronic kidney disease and obesity can contribute to a rise in uric acid levels.
Is Uric Acid Responsible for Hypertension?
Before you investigate the role of uric acid in hypertension, you must confirm your doubts about how it is connected to hypertension. The most common assumption regarding uric acid suggests that it is responsible for kidney stones and risks of developing gout. However, studies have revealed that elevated serum uric acid levels are also identified in the case of subjects with obesity, hypertension, heart disease and chronic kidney disease. Recent studies have also confirmed that elevated uric acid levels can be a potential risk factor for cardiovascular diseases.
Impact of Uric Acid on Hypertension
The possibility of uric acid is a risk factor for hypertension creates the necessity for learning about the ways in which uric acid leads to hypertension. You can use the uric acid test for the effective management of hypertension by understanding how uric acid results in hypertension. The notable ways in which uric acid leads to hypertension include systemic inflammation, increased functioning of RAAS system or endothelial dysfunction. Uric acid can lead to upregulation of the RAAS or renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system.
Apart from triggering the RAAS response, higher uric acid levels can lead to impairment of renal blood flow, which can lead to hypertension. On top of it, uric acid can initiate oxidative stress, which results in inflammation and subsequent endothelial dysfunction. Another potential impact of uric acid on hypertension refers to the crystal-dependent pathway. Deposits of crystals induced by higher uric acid levels can be found in cardiac valves and arteries, which could lead to stiffness in the blood vessels. As a result, you can establish a clear connection between uric acid and hypertension.
Using Uric Acid Testing for Managing Hypertension
What is the best way to manage hypertension by using test results of uric acid in your body? The evidence for a relationship between uric acid and hypertension calls for guided use of therapies for lowering the effect of uric acid on blood pressure. You can find two general categories of agents for lowering uric acid levels, such as production inhibitors and excretion promoters. As of now, only a few studies have investigated the impact of drugs for lowering uric acid levels on the treatment of hypertension. However, medications such as febuxostat, pegloticase, allopurinol and probenecid can lead to a reduction in hypertension.
The role of uric acid in causing hypertension, supported by research evidence, suggests that control over uric acid levels can help in managing hypertension. However, you must rely on the guidance of professional healthcare service providers to find the ideal ways to deal with hypertension. Apart from the facility of uric acid tests, you need to look for service providers who can offer the services of qualified doctors at the same place. Join the fight against hypertension by monitoring uric acid levels and achieving a healthy lifestyle now.
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