Obstructive sleep apnea and the risk of gout: a population-based case-control study

BACKGROUND:

Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) might be at risk of gout because of pathophysiological mechanisms that can lead to hyperuricemia and eventually gout or because of shared risk factors between both diseases. The objective of the present study was to investigate the risk of gout in patients with OSA.

METHODS:

A population-based case-control study using the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink GOLD including all patients aged 40 years and older with a first diagnosis of gout between 1987 and 2014. Gout cases were matched by year of birth, sex, and practice to non-gout controls. Conditional logistic regression estimated the risk of gout with an earlier diagnosis of OSA. Analyses were adjusted for lifestyle factors, comorbidities, and recent drug use.

RESULTS:

One hundred eleven thousand five hundred nine cases were matched with 210,241 controls. Patients with OSA were at increased risk of gout (OR 1.86; 95%CI (1.71-2.02). However, this association disappeared (OR 1.05; 95% CI 0.96-1.16) after adjustment for smoking status, body mass index (BMI), alcohol use, a history of heart failure, diabetes mellitus, renal function, and recent use of diuretics and other medications. Among females with OSA and patients with OSA associated with heart failure, renal impairment, or higher BMI, the risk of gout was however still increased when compared to the total control population.

CONCLUSION:

This study showed that the observed association between OSA and gout disappeared after adjustment.