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What Is Hyperuricemia?

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Updated April 28, 2013

Definition: Uric acid is the final product of purine metabolism. The condition of hyperuricemia is indicative of a high level of uric acid in the blood (>7 for men, >6 for women). Humans have higher levels of uric acid (hyperuricemia) because of a deficiency of the hepatic enzyme, uricase, and a lower fractional excretion of uric acid. Approximately two-thirds of total body urate is produced endogenously, while the remaining one-third is accounted for by dietary purines. Approximately 70% of the urate produced daily is excreted by the kidneys, while the rest is eliminated by the intestines.

Hyperuricemia may occur because of decreased excretion. Hyperuricemia may also occur from increased production, or a combination of the two mechanisms. Under-excretion accounts for the majority of cases of hyperuricemia. Overproduction accounts for only a minority of patients presenting with hyperuricemia. The prevalence rate of asymptomatic hyperuricemia in the general population is estimated at 2-13%.

According to MedicineNet, "While hyperuricemia may indicate an increased risk of gout, the relationship between hyperuricemia and gout is unclear. Many patients with hyperuricemia do not develop gout, while some patients with repeated gout attacks have normal or low blood uric acid levels. Among the male population in the United States, approximately 10% have hyperuricemia. However, only a small portion of those with hyperuricemia will actually develop gout."

Pronunciation: Hyperuricemia is pronounced hi-per-u-riss-e-mea
Also Known As: high blood uric acid level
Common Misspellings: hyperuricimia, hyperuricemea
Examples:
The blood test revealed the patient has a high uric acid level, also known as hyperuricemia.

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