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Open Access Research article

Gout and subsequent increased risk of cardiovascular mortality in non-diabetics aged 50 and above: a population-based cohort study in Taiwan

Victor C Kok12*, Jorng-Tzong Horng13*, Hsin-Li Lin4, Yu-Ching Chen1, Yan-Jun Chen3 and Kuang Fu Cheng5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Biomedical Informatics, School of Computer Science, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Kuang Tien General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

3 Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, National Central University, Jhongli City, Taiwan

4 Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan

5 Biostatistics Center and Department of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

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BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 2012, 12:108  doi:10.1186/1471-2261-12-108

Published: 21 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Limited data are available on the risk ratios for fatal cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcome from gout and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in non-diabetic individuals.

Methods

Nationwide population-based retrospective prospective study with a 5-year follow-up to investigate the association between physician-diagnosed gout and CKD in non-diabetics aged 50 and above who had no pre-existing serious CVD and the subsequent risk of death from CVD. Hazard ratios (HR) of CVD mortality were adjusted for gender, age, smoking- and alcoholism-related diagnoses, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, atrial fibrillation and Charlson’s comorbidity index score.

Results

A case cohort (n=164,463) having gout and a control cohort (n= 3,694,377) having no gout were formed. The prevalence of gout in this study was 4.26% whereas that of gout plus CKD was 8.17%. Male to female ratio among the individuals with gout was 3.2:1. The relative risk (RR) of subsequent cardiovascular mortality between the case and control cohort was 1.71 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.66-1.75). The presence of CKD in nondiabetic subjects with no gout (control group) has a RR of CVD mortality at 3.05 (95% CI, 2.94-3.15). The presence of gout has protective effect on subjects with CKD with a RR of 1.84 (95% CI, 1.71-1.98). As compared with individuals with no gout, the adjusted HR (aHR) for CVD mortality among the individuals with gout was 1.10 (95% CI 1.07-1.13). In a Cox model, when compared with subjects having neither gout nor CKD, the aHR in subjects with no gout but with CKD is 1.76 (95% CI, 1.70-1.82); in subjects with gout but without CKD, 1.10 (1.07-1.13); interestingly, the aHR is attenuated in subjects with concomitant gout plus CKD which is 1.38 (1.29-1.48).

Conclusions

Among non-diabetic individuals aged 50 years or above who had no preceding serious CVD, those with gout were 1.1 times more likely to die from CVD as were individuals without gout. The presence of gout appears to attenuate the risk of subsequent CV mortality in subjects with CKD. Further studies should focus on finding an explanation for the protective effect of gout on CV mortality in patients with CKD.