Gout Increases the Risk for a Wide Range of Cardiovascular Diseases

This could be useful for future research on underlying biological mechanisms driving CVD risk in gout, she added.

While previous research has tied gout to increased cardiovascular risk, these studies "largely focused on coronary heart disease, stroke, and thromboembolic outcomes," she explained, and have been smaller in size.

This new study included more than 862,000 individuals, which permitted researchers to investigate rarer CVD outcomes such as myocarditis and pericarditis.

For the study, researchers used electronic health records from the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink, a primary care database that contains anonymized health data for about 22 million individuals. Using these data, they identified more than 152,600 individuals with gout. Patients included in the analysis were diagnosed between 2000 and 2017, younger than 80 years at diagnosis, and free of CVD for at least 12 months after their gout diagnosis.

 Patients with gout were compared with nearly 710,000 controls, matched on demographic factors such as age, sex, and geographic region.

Researchers then investigated the incidence of 12 CVDs, including atherosclerotic diseases, degenerative and thromboembolic diseases, and arrythmias, between the two groups from January 1, 2000, to June 30, 2019.

Overall, patients with gout were 58% more likely to develop any CVD than their matched comparators without gout. There was a higher disease incidence among patients with gout for each of the 12 conditions. This association was more pronounced in women (hazard ratio [HR], 1.88) than in men (HR, 1.49), and gout amplified the risk for CVD in younger individuals to a greater extent.

Individuals younger than 45 years with gout were more than twice as likely to develop CVD compared with similarly aged individuals without gout. For comparison, individuals aged 45-54 years with gout were 84% more likely to develop CVD, and individuals aged 55-64 years were 57% more likely to develop CVD than matched controls.

Conduction system disease had the highest incident risk (HR, 1.88), followed by heart failure and valve disease (HR, 1.85 for both).

Individuals with gout had higher rates of comorbidities than the controls, including hypertension, obesity, and dyslipidemia. Overall, CVD risk was slightly attenuated after adjustment for traditional CVD risk factors such as smoking, blood pressure, and body mass index but still significant: Patients with gout had a 31% higher risk for CVD than comparators.