Gout as a risk factor for osteoporosis: epidemiologic evidence from a population-based longitudinal study involving 108,060 individuals

30 January 2018

Summary

Is gout a risk factor for future osteoporosis? This large population-based study comprising two matched groups of individuals with and without gout demonstrates that patients with gout have a 20% increase in the risk of developing osteoporosis in future through an 8-year follow-up.

Introduction

To examine if gout is associated with an increased risk of osteoporosis.

Methods

We conducted a nationwide population-based retrospective matched-cohort study. Two matched cohorts (n = 36,458 with gout and 71,602 without gout) assembled and recruited from the Longitudinal Health Insurance Dataset containing 1 million subjects. Exclusion criteria were missing data, age < 20 years, short follow-up period, and pre-existing osteoporosis. Both cohorts were followed up until incident osteoporosis, death, or the end of the study. Person-year data and incidence rates were evaluated. A multivariable Cox model was used to derive an adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) after controlling for socioeconomic proxy, geographical difference, glucocorticoid and allopurinol exposure, various prespecified medical conditions, and comorbidities.

Results

Men comprised 72.8% of the cohorts. With a follow-up of 183,729 and 359,900 person-years for the gout and non-gout cohorts, 517 and 811 incidents of osteoporosis occurred, respectively, after excluding osteoporosis incidents in the first 3 years of follow-up. The cumulative incidence of osteoporosis was statistically higher in the gout cohort than in the non-gout cohort, at 3.3 versus 2.1% (P = 0.0036, log-rank). Our Cox model showed a 1.2-fold increase in the incidence of osteoporosis in the gout cohort, with an aHR of 1.2 (95% confidence interval, 1.06–1.35).

Conclusions

This first population-based epidemiologic study supports the hypothesis that compared with individuals without gout; those with gout have a modest increase in the risk of developing osteoporosis in future.

 

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