New findings presented at the 2017 Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Madrid support an association between gout and an increased risk of erectile dysfunction (ED).

Naomi Schlesinger, MD, of Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and colleagues used the Health Improvement Network, an electronic medical record database in the United Kingdom, to identify 2290 new cases of ED among 38,438 patients with gout (mean age 63.6 years) and 8447 ED cases among 154,332 individuals without gout matched to the gout cases by age, enrollment time, and body mass index. The median follow-up time was 5 years. In multivariate analysis, the risk of incident ED was a significant 15% higher among the gout patients than the comparison group.

When the investigators restricted their analyses to gout patients receiving anti-gout treatment (31,227 patients), gout was associated with a 29% increased risk of incident ED.

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“This population-based study suggests an increased risk of erectile dysfunction among gout patients, supporting a possible role for hyperuricemia and inflammation as independent risk factors for erectile dysfunction,” Dr Schlesinger’s team concluded in their study abstract.

The study adds to growing evidence of a link between gout and ED. Previously, Dr Schlesinger and colleagues reported on a cross-sectional study of men aged 18 to 89 years showing a significantly higher proportion of ED cases in men with than without gout (76% vs 51%), according to a paper published in the Journal of Rheumatology (2015;42:1893-1897). In a report in the European Journal of Internal Medicine (2015;26:691-695), researchers in Taiwan showed that ED was 1.2 times more likely to develop in men with gout than in those without the condition.

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Schlesinger N, Lu N, Choi HK. Gout and the risk of incident erectile dysfunction: A body mass index-matched population-based study. Data presented at the 2017 Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Madrid (June 14–17). Abstract THU410. DOI: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-eular.2710

Schlesinger N, Radvanski DC, Cheng JQ, Kostis JB. Erectile dysfunction is common among patients with gout. J Rheumatol 2015;42:1893-1897.

Hsu CY, Lin CL, Kao CH. Gout is associated with organic and psychogenic erectile dysfunction. Eur J Intern Med 2015;26:691-695.