Hyperuricemia and gout do not increase the risk for dementia overall, but might be associated with a reduced likelihood of Alzheimer disease, according to a recent meta-analysis.

In an analysis of pooled data from 4 cohort studies, investigators found no significant difference in dementia risk between patients with hyperuricemia or gout and patients who had neither of these conditions. Hyperuricemia and gout, however, were significantly associated with a 22% lower risk for Alzheimer disease, Shu-Yue Pan, MD, and colleagues at Sichuan University West China Hospital in Chengdu, Sichuan, China reported in BMJ Open.

“The results of our meta-analysis should be interpreted with caution due to the small number and high heterogeneity of the included studies,” the authors wrote.

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Previous studies investigating the association between hyperuricemia and gout and dementia have yielded mixed results. A study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases demonstrated that the highest vs lowest serum uric acid levels were significantly associated with a 1.8-fold increased risk for dementia overall and a 3.7-fold increased risk for vascular or mixed dementia, but no association between serum uric acid levels and Alzheimer disease. In a study published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, however, investigators found that gout was significantly associated with 24% and 23% decreased risks for vascular and nonvascular dementia, respectively.

“Dementia involves variable clinical symptoms, multiple subtypes and complex pathogenesis, which may explain the contradictory results of studies on gout or hyperuricaemia,” Dr Pan and colleagues noted.


Pan SY, Cheng RJ, Xia ZJ, Zhang QP, Liu Y. Risk of dementia in gout and hyperuricaemia: a meta-analysis of cohort studies. BMJ Open. 2021;11:e041680. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-041680

Latourte A, Soumaré A, Bardin T, et al. Uric acid and incident dementia over 1 year of follow-up: a population-based cohort study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2018;77:328-335. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210767

Hong JY, Lan TY, Tang GJ, et al. Gout and the risk of dementia: a nationwide population-based cohort study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2015;17:139. doi:10.1186/s13075-015-0642-1