The aim of this study was to investigate the uric acid status and its correlates in relation to selected cardiovascular risk factors in a cross-sectional study in Hangzhou, China. In this cross-sectional study, 186 male (56 +/- 14 yrs) and 85 female (55 +/- 11 yrs) free-living subjects were recruited from the Hangzhou metropolitan area, China. Their physiological parameters were measured. Each subject gave fasting blood, urine and faeces samples, from which serum uric acid and other parameters of biochemistry and haematology were measured by standard methods. Serum uric concentration was 329 +/- 69 micromol/L for male and 237 +/- 53 micromol/L for female (P < 0.0001). Compared with female subjects, males had significantly higher BMI (P = 0.0215), serum triacylglycerol (TAG) (P = 0.0012) and creatinine (P<0.0001), and significantly lower total cholesterol (TC) (P = 0.0013) and HDL-C (P < 0.0001). In the partial correlation analysis, after controlling for sex, age and BMI, serum uric acid was significantly positively correlated with serum concentrations of TC (r = 0.205, P = 0.001), LDL-C (r = 0.229, P < 0.001),TAG (r = 0.172, P = 0.008) and creatinine (r = 0.330, P < 0.001). The results from the present study indicated that prevalence rates of hyperuricaemia are lower in Hangzhou than in Beijing; increased serum uric acid concentration was associated with a cluster of cardiovascular risk factors for the Hangzhou urban population.