Background: The causal relationship between gout and renal transplant outcomes is difficult to assess due to multiple interacting covariates. This study sought to estimate the independent effect of new-onset gout on renal transplant outcomes using a methodology that accounted for these interactions.
Methods: This study analyzed data on patients in the US Renal Data System (USRDS) who received a primary kidney transplant between 2008 and 2015. The exposure was new-onset gout, and the primary endpoint was returning to dialysis >12 months postindex date (transplant date). A marginal structural model (MSM) was fitted to determine the relative risk of new-onset gout on return to dialysis.
Results: 18 525 kidney transplant recipients in the USRDS met study eligibility. One thousand three hundred ninety-nine (7.6%) patients developed new-onset gout, and 1420 (7.7%) returned to dialysis >12 months postindex. Adjusting for baseline and time-varying confounders via the MSM showed new-onset gout was associated with a 51% increased risk of return to (RR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.03-2.20).
Conclusions: This finding suggests that new onset gout after kidney transplantation could be a harbinger for poor renal outcomes, and to our knowledge is the first study of kidney transplant outcomes using a technique that accounted for the dynamic relationship between renal dysfunction and gout.