Elevated levels of uric acid are associated with an increased likelihood of diabetes, but uric acid levels decline after diabetes is diagnosed, a study found.

The study of 11,134 participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study, researchers led by Elizabeth Selvin, MD, of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, showed that each 1 mg/dL increment in uric acid was associated with a significant 18% increased risk of diabetes, after adjusting for potential confounders.

The association remained significant even after adjusting for fasting glucose and insulin levels, the researchers reported online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Among subjects with diabetes, each additional five years’ duration of diabetes was associated with a 0.10 mg/dL lower uric acid level in adjusted analyses.