Gout Associated With Increased Incidence of Epilepsy

By Cailin Conner - Last Updated: June 8, 2023

Results from a recent study in Seizure – European Journal of Epilepsy suggested that gout was associated with an increased incidence of epilepsy.

The researchers pooled data from the IQVIA Disease Analyzer database, which included data from 112,482 patients with gout who were being treated in outpatient departments. These patients were then matched 1:1 with non-gout patients based on factors such as sex, age, yearly consultation frequency during the follow-up period, and preexisting diagnoses associated with an increased risk of epilepsy. Cox regression models were employed to analyze the association between gout and epilepsy.

“Within 10 years after the index date, epilepsy had been diagnosed in 2.2% of gout and 1.6% of non-gout patients,” the researchers reported.

The difference in the incidence of epilepsy between the 2 groups was statistically significant (P<.001). Furthermore, the regression analysis demonstrated a significant association between gout and subsequent epilepsy, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.32 (95% CI, 1.21-1.44), indicating that individuals with gout had a 32% higher risk of developing epilepsy compared with those without gout.

Interestingly, the association between gout and epilepsy was observed across all age groups, but it was particularly pronounced in the youngest age group (range, 18-50 years). In this age range, the HR was 1.86 (95% CI, 1.44-2.41). These findings suggest that the influence of gout on epilepsy risk may be more significant in younger individuals. However, it is important to note that further research is required to fully understand the underlying mechanisms and to confirm these observations.

It is important to note that this study had several limitations, and therefore, additional research is necessary to validate these findings in diverse populations and clinical settings. The study design was observational, which means it cannot establish a cause-and-effect relationship between gout and epilepsy but rather indicates an association. Future prospective studies and laboratory investigations are required to unravel the precise mechanisms linking gout to epilepsy and to explore potential preventive measures or interventions.

The researchers concluded, “Our study demonstrates that gout is associated with an increased incidence of epilepsy. This finding could help us to understand the mechanisms of epilepsy and better protect affected individuals in the future.”

Source: Seizure – European Journal of Epilepsy

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