Uric acid levels in adult patients with severe eating disorders
Objective: To investigate serum uric acid (UA) levels in patients with extreme forms of eating disorders, at admission and discharge, following weeks of nutritional rehabilitation and weight restoration.
Method: This observational study enrolled 160 patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa restricting subtype (AN-R), AN binge-purge subtype (AN-BP), or avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID). Serum UA levels were drawn on admission and discharge.
Results: Most of the cohorts were admitted with serum UA levels on the lower end of normal. Mean serum uric level for women was 4.3 mg/dl (SD: 2.3). Patients diagnosed with AN-BP had significantly higher UA levels on admission compared to patients with AN-R and ARFID; p < .0001, η2 = 0.13. High UA levels positively correlated with purging and admission serum blood urea nitrogen (r = .5, p = .009).
Discussion: Serum UA levels tended to be in the low-normal range in most patients with severe AN-R, but not in AN-BP. However, levels did increase with nutritional intake and weight gain. There may be clinical value in checking UA levels on admission for patients with eating disorders.