, also known as insulin
resistance syndrome or cardio-metabolic syndrome, is a combination of risk
factors including increased waistline (abdominal obesity), hypertension (high
blood pressure), impaired fasting blood glucose, high levels of triglycerides,
and low levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) that puts you at risk for heart
disease and diabetes.
Since these diseases can be prevented with dietary and
lifestyle interventions, non-invasive approaches are needed to identify
Earlier studies have shown that serum uric acid is
associated with obesity, hypertension and metabolic syndrome. Since
serum uric acid concentration is directly proportional to salivary uric acid
(SUA) concentration, Maria Soukup and her colleagues from West Virginia School
of Osteopathic Medicine, USA, took up a study to find out whether saliva
testing could be a useful non-invasive method for screening cardio-metabolic
They needed to determine if SUA is increased in people
with metabolic syndrome and also the relationship between SUA and
cardio-metabolic risk factors.
Seventy-eight healthy volunteers between the ages of 18
and 65 participated in the study. Height, weight, blood pressure, and waist
circumference were measured. A full lipid panel along with fasting blood glucose
Salivary uric acid (SUA) concentration was determined
using the enzymatic uric acid assay reagent in a 96-well format
The results showed that significant positive correlations
were seen between SUA and systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure,
waist circumference, BMI, fasting blood glucose, triglycerides, and the number
of cardio-metabolic risk factors present.
SUA levels were negatively correlated with HDL.
This study, thus, confirmed the results of earlier studies
that show positive association between higher serum uric acid levels and
metabolic syndrome, and further found that salivary
uric acid (SUA) is elevated in patients with metabolic syndrome and also
correlates with risk factors including blood pressure, triglyceride levels,
HDL, and fasting blood glucose.
The study also supports the suggestion that SUA levels 'may be a viable noninvasive
biomarker for monitoring cardio-metabolic risk particularly in women'.
The study report has been published in the journal
Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome.
The researchers, however, pointed out that the study was
small in size and the oral health status was self reported. The study was also
limited due to lack of detailed information regarding emotional status, alcohol
consumption and nutrition, all of which affect the SUA levels.
They concluded - 'The ability to monitor cardio-metabolic
risk using simple, noninvasive testing (such as SUA testing) should help
overcome barriers to screening and may also improve adherence to dietary and
behavioral treatment programs'.