Serum uric acid (SUA), a causative agent for gout among others, is affected by both genetic and dietary factors, perhaps differentially by sex. We evaluated cross-sectional (SUAbase) and longitudinal (SUArate) associations of SUA with a genetic risk score (GRS), diet and sex. We then tested the interactive effect of GRS, diet and sex on SUA. Longitudinal data on 766 African-American urban adults participating in the Healthy Aging in Neighborhood of Diversity across the Lifespan study were used. In all, three GRS for SUA were created from known SUA-associated SNP (GRSbase (n 12 SNP), GRSrate (n 3 SNP) and GRStotal (n 15 SNP)). Dietary factors included added sugar, total alcohol, red meat, total fish, legumes, dairy products, caffeine and vitamin C. Mixed-effects linear regression models were conducted. SUAbase was higher among men compared with that among women, and increased with GRStotal tertiles. SUArate was positively associated with legume intake in women (γ=+0·14; 95 % CI +0·06, +0·22, P=0·001) and inversely related to dairy product intake in both sexes combined (γ=−0·042; 95 % CI −0·075, −0·009), P=0·010). SUAbase was directly linked to alcohol consumption among women (γ=+0·154; 95 % CI +0·046, +0·262, P=0·005). GRSrate was linearly related to SUArate only among men. Legume consumption was also positively associated with SUArate within the GRStotal’s lowest tertile. Among women, a synergistic interaction was observed between GRSrate and red meat intake in association with SUArate. Among men, a synergistic interaction between low vitamin C and genetic risk was found. In sum, sex–diet, sex–gene and gene–diet interactions were detected in determining SUA. Further similar studies are needed to replicate our findings.