Patients with gout have a lower prevalence of colorectal cancer, a study of US veterans suggests.

Among 581 gout patients and 598 osteoarthritis patients without gout who had documented colonoscopies, the 10-year prevalence of colorectal cancer was significantly lower among gout patients than osteoarthritis patients (0.8% vs 3.7%), Anastasia Slobodnick, MD, from the Section of Rheumatology, VA New York Harbor Health Care System, and colleagues reported online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology

Differences in colorectal cancer prevalence remained significant after stratifying for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug use.

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In a sub-analysis, the significantly lower prevalence of colorectal cancer among gout patients compared with osteoarthritis patients persisted among those who underwent diagnostic colonoscopy (0.5% vs 4.6%), but not screening colonoscopy (0.9% vs 1%).

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Additionally, among gout patients, use of colchicine and/or allopurinol, as well as the presence or absence of concomitant osteoarthritis, did not affect colorectal cancer occurrence.

The investigators concluded that the decreased occurrence of colorectal cancer among gout patients suggests a possible protective effect.


Slobodnick A, Krasnokutsky S, Lehmann RA, et al. Colorectal cancer among gout patients undergoing colonoscopy. J Clin Rheumatol. 2018; published online ahead of print.