The Relation of Accelerometer-Measured Physical Activity and Serum Uric Acid Using the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004.


Objective: Gout is a crystal-induced inflammatory arthritis caused by elevated uric acid. Physical activity has the potential to reduce serum uric acid (SUA), thus improving the disease burden of gout. In this study, we examined the association of objectively-measured physical activity and SUA. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using survey, laboratory, and accelerometer data from the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). SUA concentrations (mg/dL) were obtained during an initial exam, and then physical activity (kCal/day) was measured with 7 days of ActiGraph accelerometry in participants (n = 3,475) representative of the ambulatory, non-institutionalized US civilian population. Regression, including restricted cubic splines, was used to assess the relation of physical activity and SUA in bivariate and adjusted models. Covariates included age, gender, race/ethnicity, alcohol use, body mass index, renal function, and urate-lowering therapy. Results: In the bivariate model, physical activity was correlated with SUA concentrations and included a non-linear component (p < 0.01). In the adjusted model, linear splines were employed with a node at the SUA nadir of 5.37mg/dL; this occurred at 703 kCal/day of physical activity. The association of physical activity and SUA was negative from 0 to 703 kCal/day (p = 0.07) and positive >703 kCal/day (p < 0.01 for the change in slope). Conclusion: Physical activity and SUA are associated in a non-linear fashion, with a minimum estimated SUA at 703 kCal/day of objectively-measured physical activity. These findings raise intriguing questions about the use of physical activity as a potential adjunctive therapy in patients with gout, and further interventional studies are needed to elucidate the effects of moderate intensity exercise on SUA concentrations.





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Publication Info

Smith, Isaac D, Leanna M Ross, Josi R Gabaldon, Nicholas Holdgate, Carl F Pieper, Tony C Ning, William E Kraus, Kim M Huffman, et al. (2021). The Relation of Accelerometer-Measured Physical Activity and Serum Uric Acid Using the National Health and Nutrition Survey (NHANES) 2003-2004. Frontiers in sports and active living, 3. p. 775398. 10.3389/fspor.2021.775398 Retrieved from

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Isaac David Smith

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Leanna Ross

Assistant Professor in Medicine

Dr. Ross's research focuses on understanding the mechanisms by which exercise interventions elicit short- and long-term cardiometabolic health benefits.  As cardiometabolic disease remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States, the goal of her translational research is to enhance the development of evidence-based, precision exercise interventions that optimally prevent and treat disease.

Areas of Research Interest
Exercise dose-response and cardiometabolic health
Insulin action and glucose homeostasis
Legacy health benefits of exercise
Heterogeneity of response to exercise intervention
Precision lifestyle medicine
Epidemiology of physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness



Carl F. Pieper

Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Analytic Interests.

1) Issues in the Design of Medical Experiments: I explore the use of reliability/generalizability models in experimental design. In addition to incorporation of reliability, I study powering longitudinal trials with multiple outcomes and substantial missing data using Mixed models.

2) Issues in the Analysis of Repeated Measures Designs & Longitudinal Data: Use of Hierarchical Linear Models (HLM) or Mixed Models in modeling trajectories of multiple variables over time (e.g., physical and cognitive functioning and Blood Pressure). My current work involves methodologies in simultaneous estimation of trajectories for multiple variables within and between domains, modeling co-occuring change.

Areas of Substantive interest: (1) Experimental design and analysis in gerontology and geriatrics, and psychiatry,
(2) Multivariate repeated measures designs,


Kim Marie Huffman

Associate Professor of Medicine

Determining the role of physical activity in modulating health outcomes (cardiovascular disease risk) in persons with rheumatologic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, gout, osteoarthritis)

Integrating clinical rheumatology, basic immunology, metabolism, and exercise science in order to reduce morbidity in individuals with arthritis

Evaluating relationships between circulating and intra-muscular metabolic intermediates and insulin resistance in sedentary as well as individuals engaging in regular exercise

Addressing the role of physical activity in modulating inflammation, metabolism, and functional health in aging populations

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