Risk of dementia in gout and hyperuricaemia: a meta-analysis of cohort studies

BMJ Open. 2021 Jun 22;11(6):e041680. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041680.


OBJECTIVES: Gout, characterised by hyperuricaemia with monosodium urate crystal formation and inflammation, is the most common inflammatory arthritis in adults. Recent studies have found that elevated uric acid levels are related to the occurrence of dementia. We conducted a study to investigate the association between dementia and gout or hyperuricaemia.

DESIGN: Systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies.

DATA SOURCES: Studies were screened from inception to 28 June 2019 by searching Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library databases.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Cohort studies comparing the risk of dementia in patients with gout and hyperuricaemia versus non-gout and non-hyperuricaemia controls were enrolled.

DATA EXTRACTION AND ANALYSIS: Two reviewers separately selected studies and extracted data using the Medical Subject Headings without restriction on languages or countries. The adjusted HRs were pooled using the DerSimonian and Laird random effects model. Sensitivity analyses were conducted to evaluate the stability of the results. Publication bias was evaluated using Egger’s and Begg’s tests. Quality assessment was performed according to the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

RESULTS: Four cohort studies that met the inclusion criteria were included in our meta-analysis. We found that gout and hyperuricaemia did not increase the risk of dementia, with a pooled HR of 0.94 (95% CI 0.69 to 1.28), but might decrease the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), with a pooled HR of 0.78 (95% CI 0.64 to 0.95). There was little evidence of publication bias. Quality assessment of the included studies was high (range: 6-8 points).

CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that gout and hyperuricaemia do not increase the risk of dementia. However, gout and hyperuricaemia might have a protective effect against AD. Due to the limited number of research articles, more investigations are needed to demonstrate the potential relationship between dementia and gout or hyperuricaemia.

PMID:34158290 | DOI:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041680