Short- and long-term association between uric acid and a natural disaster

Maurizio Trevisan, Erin O'Leary, Eduardo Farinaro, Fabrizio Jossa, Rocco Galasso, Egidio Celentano, Antonio Scottoni, Giuseppe Fusco, Salvatore Panico

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This paper analyzes the longitudinal relationship between serum uric acid level and a natural disaster. Methods: The sample consists of factory workers who were participating in a longitudinal epidemiological study of coronary heart disease risk factors. Participants were seen in 1975 (baseline), 1980 (5 year follow-up), and 1987 (12 year follow-up). The 5 year (1980) follow-up examination was interrupted by a major earthquake and resumed 2 weeks after the quake. At this examination, participants seen after the quake had, on the average, significantly lower serum uric acid than those seen before the earthquake. In 1987 (7 years after the quake), participants were questioned whether or not (in their own perception) they were still suffering from damages due to the 1980 earthquake. Results: At the examination in 1987, participants who reported suffering from damage due to the 1980 quake showed on the average significantly increased serum uric acid compared with participants who reported not suffering from damages due to the 1980 quake. The analyses of the data of 578 individuals who participated in all three examinations confirmed these findings and showed that they were independent from levels of uric acid measured prior to the disaster. Conclusions: The reason for this apparent different association with uric acid and acute and long-term exposure to the quake remains to be clarified but these findings are consistent with the existence of diverse patterns of physiologic response to different stressors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-113
Number of pages5
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1997


  • coping
  • disaster
  • stress
  • stress response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)


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