Several studies have demonstrated a relationship between increased serum uric acid (SUA) concentrations and the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in the oriental population. However, to the best of our knowledge, the association between SUA and MetS has never been investigated in elderly European individuals at high cardiovascular risk. The aim of this study was to conduct a cross-sectional and prospective evaluation of the associations between SUA concentrations and the MetS in elderly individuals at high cardiovascular risk.Men and women (55-80 years of age) from different PREDIMED (Prevención con DIeta MEDiterránea) recruiting centers were studied. Baseline cross-sectional (n = 4417) and prospective assessments (n = 1511) were performed. MetS was defined in accordance with the updated harmonized criteria. Anthropometric measurements and biochemical determinations were assessed at baseline and yearly during follow-up. Unadjusted and adjusted regression models were fitted to assess the risk of MetS and its components according to the levels of baseline SUA. Participants in the highest baseline sex-adjusted SUA quartile showed an increased prevalence of MetS than those in the lowest quartile, even after adjusting for potential confounders (odd ratio (OR): 2.3 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.8-2.8); P < 0.001). Participants in the highest baseline sex-adjusted SUA quartile presented a higher incidence of new-onset MetS than those in the lowest quartile (hazard ratios (HR): 1.4 (95% CI, 1.1-1.9); P < 0.001). Participants initially free at baseline of hypertriglyceridemia (HR: 1.9 (1.6-2.4); P < 0.001), low high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol (HR: 1.4 (1.1-1.7); P = 0.002), and hypertension components of MetS (HR: 2.0 (1.2-3.3); P = 0.008) and who were in the upper quartile of SUA had a significantly higher risk of developing these MetS components during follow-up.Elevated SUA concentrations are significantly associated with the development of MetS.