Gout Increases Risk of Diabetes

Women with this form of arthritis are more susceptible, researchers say.
Women with this form of arthritis are more susceptible, researchers say.

Gout appears to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in women, according to a study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

The researchers used data from health records on adult patients from January 1995 to May 2010. They zeroed in on 35,339 people with newly diagnosed gout and compared them with 137,056 people without the condition. To isolate the relationship between gout and diabetes, the investigators took age, sex, and especially weight into account.

The researchers found that almost three-quarters of the new cases of gout were among men with an average age of 61. Among women with new cases of gout, the average age was 68. The odds of developing diabetes alongside gout were much higher for women.

The absolute risk of a woman with gout developing diabetes was found to be about 5 percent, whereas for men it was about 3 percent. People with gout tended to drink more alcohol, saw their doctor more often, had more medical problems, and took steroids and diuretics more often than those who did not have gout.

Spyros Mezitis, M.D., an endocrinologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, told HealthDay that this study may make doctors more aware of the association between gout and diabetes. "The question for doctors is whether people with gout should be tested for diabetes and people with diabetes tested for gout," Mezitis said.

"What this study tells us is that if the patient has gout, you have to be thinking that the patient is at increased risk for diabetes." This may be independent of other factors normally associated with diabetes, such as obesity and high blood pressure, he added.

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