Sleep disorder linked to gout

Consider the condition in all patients with sleep apnoea regardless of BMI

A general practice study of nearly 16,000 patients with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) shows they are twice as likely as people without apnoea to develop gout.

UK researchers drew on a nationally representative database to identify patients diagnosed with OSA between 1990 and 2010, and matched them with 63,000 controls based on age, gender and the GP clinic they frequented.

Over the follow-up period of six years, 4.8% of apnoea patients and 2.6% of patients without apnoea developed gout, a twofold difference in incidence, the researchers reported.

The increased risk of gout was seen in patients with OSA in all categories of BMI, but was highest in those with a normal BMI.

“This suggests that the contribution of OSA to the risk of hyperuricaemia and gout is independent of BMI, and clinicians should consider the possibility of gout in patients with sleep apnoea regardless of obesity,” the authors wrote.