Gout link to diabetes prompts call for aggressive GP management

Patients with gout face a heightened risk of developing diabetes, and GPs should 'aggressively' manage risk factors for the disease in these patients, US researchers have said.

Inflamed toe joint in patient with gout (Photo: SPL)
Inflamed toe joint in patient with gout (Photo: SPL)

The study from Harvard Medical School, Boston, found the risk of diabetes was 71% higher in women with gout than their peers without the condition. The risk in men was 22% greater.

Researchers said the effect was independent of factors including BMI and lifestyle. They urged GPs to take steps to identify and manage risk factors for diabetes in patients with gout, particularly women.

The study used anonymised data about 35,339 new cases of gout between 1995 and 2010 from the UK’s Health Improvement Network.

Gout patients assessed

Researchers matched each of these patients to five people without gout, a total of 137,056. The control group included people of the same gender, age and BMI as the patients with gout, and the researchers also considered information on smoking status, alcohol use, GP visits and treatments for other conditions.

They found that patients with gout drank more alcohol, went to their GP more often and had more health problems than those without the condition.

The study found new diabetes diagnoses were more common among patients with gout, at 9.6 per 1,000 person-years, than among controls, at 6.7 per 1,000.

More women with gout developed diabetes, even though risk factors were more common in men.

Inflammation could be key

Underlying inflammation in patients with gout may promote the development of diabetes, the researchers said.

They concluded that the findings suggest ‘gout may be independently associated with an increased risk of diabetes and the magnitude of association is significantly larger in women than in men’.

The study, the first to link the two conditions in the general UK population, was observational, so the link may not necessarily be causal, the authors said.

They added: ‘These findings support proper recognition and management of risk factors of diabetes in patients with gout, particularly among women.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

External wall of GP surgery with wording 'medical centre'

‘Utterly toxic’: GPs speak out over abuse and physical attacks on practice teams

GPs have condemned a rise in verbal and physical attacks on practice staff - warning...

Artist's image of a spiked virus

Javid warns of 'substantial risk' from new COVID-19 variant

The highly mutated COVID-19 variant B.1.1.529 'may pose a significant risk to public...

Desk with lettering 'LMC conference'

LMCs reject 'outdated' GMS contract and demand move to item of service payments

LMCs have voted to scrap the 'outdated and inadequate' GMS contract and to replace...

GPs at an LMC conference waving green voting cards in the air

LMCs demand ringfence on enhanced services cash and clear GP representation in ICSs

LMCs have called for a ringfence on enhanced services funding, along with a guarantee...

Close up of hands typing on a computer

Practices should not be required to provide online consultations, say LMCs

Online consultations should no longer be a part of the GMS contract and targets for...

Sign outside BMA House

More than half of GP practices prepared to pull out of PCNs, BMA ballot shows

More than half of GP practices in England are prepared to opt out of the PCN DES...