OBJECTIVE: To assess the association of serum uric acid (UA) with components of metabolic syndrome (MetS) in different ethnic groups. METHODS: Nondiabetic men (3285) and nondiabetic women (4078) aged 25 to 74 years without a history of cardiovascular disease and gout from Mauritius and Qingdao China, comprising Mauritian Indians, Mauritian Creoles, and an urban Chinese population, were studied. The top quintile of waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, serum total cholesterol and triglycerides, plasma glucose levels, and the bottom quintile of HDL cholesterol was defined as the metabolic disorder. Hyperuricemia was defined if UA values were in the top quintile. RESULTS: In a multivariate model (adjusted for age, cohort, smoking, and alcohol consumption), waist circumference, BMI, and serum triglycerides appeared to be independently associated with hyperuricemia in both sexes and in all ethnic groups except in Chinese women. Multivariate adjusted odds ratios (95% confidence intervals [CIs]) for having three or more metabolic disorders vs fewer than three, corresponding to a one SD increase in serum UA concentration, were 1.75 (1.51 to 2.02), 2.19 (1.71 to 2.82) and 2.30 (1.68 to 3.16) in Indian, Creole, and Chinese men, respectively, and 1.74 (1.52 to 2.00), 1.75 (1.40 to 2.19) and 1.72 (1.37 to 2.16) in Indian, Creole, and Chinese women, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In nondiabetics of Asian and African ancestry, elevated serum UA was closely associated with components of MetS, but whether UA provides additional information to the definition of the MetS in predicting future cardiovascular disease and diabetes needs to be studied.