Associations of serum uric acid and gamma-glutamyltransferase with cancer in the Vorarlberg Health Monitoring and Promotion Programme (VHM&PP) – a short review
The Vorarlberg Health Monitoring and Promotion Programme (VHM&PP), based on prospectively gathered, repeated routine health examination data from a cohort of more than 175,000 adults, is one of the largest ongoing population-based risk factor surveillance programmes worldwide. Among others, the so far widely unknown associations of serum uric acid (SUA) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT) with cancer were investigated. Both SUA and GGT are known to be related to the metabolic syndrome and furthermore considered as markers of oxidative stress. After controlling for several confounding factors, it was found that elevated SUA levels were statistically significantly related to overall cancer mortality and several site-specific malignancies in both men and women. Additionally, a J-shaped effect of SUA levels on risk of overall cancer incidence appeared in men, with significantly increased cancer risk at high levels of SUA. Likewise, in accordance with some experimental evidence, among men and women elevated GGT increased cancer risk overall and for several lifestyle-related malignancies. On the basis of these findings, and considering the routine measurement in clinical practice, SUA and GGT might function as a valuable marker to identify patients with an increased risk to develop malignant diseases.