A large study led by Keele University has found that patients suffering with gout are not at a higher risk for fragility fracture, contradicting previous research findings.
Earlier studies have found an increased fracture risk in individuals with gout. However, these studies did not adequately account for lifestyle-related factors such as BMI and alcohol consumption.
This new large study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) School for Primary Care Research, used data from a large primary care research database to identify 31,781 patients with incident gout who were matched to 122,961 control patients.
The research found that the number of fracture patients with gout was similar to those without the condition. The absolute rate of fracture was 53 per 10,000 person-years among patients with gout and 55 per 10,000 person-years in control patients, corresponding to an HR of 0.97 (95% CI, 0.92-1.02). The findings remained unchanged when stratified by age and sex. Furthermore, urate-lowering drugs prescribed early during the course of disease had neither adverse nor beneficial effect on long-term risk for fracture.
Presenting the findings in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the authors said the findings “should be reassuring to patients, healthcare policymakers and clinicians”.
The research was conducted as part of the centre’s inflammatory conditions research programme, which aims to improve both the diagnosis and management of common inflammatory disorders in primary care.