BACKGROUND : Association between alcoholism and hyperuricemia has been suggested. Very few studies are done correlating the quantity of alcohol consumed with serum uric acid (UA) level. As alcoholism is also associated with end organ damage, it will be interesting to see correlation between quantity of alcohol consumption, serum UA levels and end organ damage markers(serum
creatinine, SGOT, SGPT), so that some light can be thrown on understanding the mechanism of hyperuricemia in alcoholics.
METHODS : Sample: 30 light, 27 moderate, 30 heavy alcoholic male subjects and 30 age matched non alcoholics of age between 30 & 60 years. Details about amount, type&frequency of alcohol intake and dietwere gathered by history given by subjects. Blood samples
were collected within 24 hours of last drink and serum UA, serum bilirubin, SGPT&SGOTwere estimated.
RESULTS : Consistent and very significant (P<0.0001) increase in serum UA with increasing quantity of alcohol consumption was observed. Serum creatinine showed positive correlation with quantity of alcohol intake that is significant (P<0.001) only in heavy alcoholics. Positive correlation between serum UA and serum creatinine observed was significant (P<0.001) only in moderate and heavy alcoholics. Correlation between serum UA and SGOT was positive and significant (<0.05) only in heavy alcoholics.
CONCLUSION : Regular moderate alcohol consumption promotes hyperuricemia because of increased urate production by accelerating hepatic breakdown of ATP and decreased urate excretion by conversion to lactic acid. Along with these, renal impairment causing decreased urate excretion and hepatic impairment affecting urate metabolism may be involved in the mechanism of hyperuricemia associated with heavy alcoholism. Regular alcohol consumption in any amount promotes hyperuricemia.