Serum Uric Acid Levels and the Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Pavankumar Kamat


September 30, 2021


  • A study found a U-shaped association between serum uric acid (SUA) levels and the risk of colon cancer in men and women.

  • A similar pattern between SUA levels and the risk of rectal cancer was observed in men.

  • SUA levels had a positive association with the risk of rectal cancer in women.

Why this matters

  • Findings warrant future studies to ascertain the causal association between SUA levels and colorectal cancer and better understand the underlying mechanisms.

Study design

  • The cohort study included 444,462 participants (age, 40-69 years) from the UK Biobank who were followed up from 2006 to 2010.

  • The association of low and high SUA levels with the risk of colorectal cancers was evaluated.

  • Funding: National Natural Science Foundation of China and others.

Key results

  • Of 444,462 participants, 2033 were diagnosed with colon cancer and 855 with rectal cancer during a median follow-up of 6.6 years.

  • The risk of colon cancer in the lowest uric acid level (≤3.5 mg/dL) group vs reference was (adjusted HR [aHR]; 95% CI):

    • men (1.31; 0.75-2.29); and

    • women (1.26; 1.03-1.55).

  • The risk of colon cancer in the highest uric acid level  groups (>8.4 mg/dL) vs reference was (aHR; 95% CI):

    • men (1.16; 0.83-1.63); and

    • women (2.00; 1.02-3.92).

  • The lowest uric acid level groups vs reference had a higher risk of rectal cancer in men (aHR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.15-4.23), but not in women (aHR, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.66-1.45).

  • The highest uric acid level groups vs reference had a higher risk of rectal cancer in women (aHR, 3.81; 95% CI, 1.38-10.56) and in men (aHR, 1.35; 95% CI, 0.82-2.23).


  • Observation design.


Mi N, Huang J, Huang C, Lin Y, He Q, Wang H, Yang M, Lu Y, Lawer AL, Yue P, Bai B, Zhang J, Zhang C, Cai T, Fu W, Gao L, Li X, Yuan J, Meng W. High serum uric acid may associate with the increased risk of colorectal cancer in females: A prospective cohort study. Int J Cancer. 2021 Sep 14 [Epub ahead of print]. doi: 10.1002/ijc.33807. PMID: 34520576  View abstract 

This clinical summary originally appeared on Univadis, part of the Medscape Professional Network.


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