The following is a summary of “Gout Screening Identifies a Large Cardiovascular Population at Increased Risk of Mortality” published in the December 2022 issue of Rheumatology by Ruiz-Simón et al.

Cardiovascular disease patients frequently have gout, yet up to a third of cases go unreported. With cardiovascular events as inpatients, researchers sought to determine whether active gout screening can assist in identifying patients who are more likely to die after discharge.

Patients hospitalized for cardiovascular events were included in the investigation. Through the analysis of documents and a clinical interview, gout was determined. Electronic medical records were checked for mortality and cause of death after discharge. Using Cox regression models, the relationship between gout and future mortality was examined.

A final sample of 249 patients (93.6%) was obtained from the 266 recruited patients after 17 were lost to follow-up. About 36 patients (14.5%) were determined to have gout, and 13 (36.1%) were found during the interview. The average follow-up lasted 19.9 months (SD, 8.6). In the entire population (hazard ratio [HR], 2.01; 95% CI, 1.13-3.58) and the subgroup with a prior diagnosis of gout (HR, 2.89; 95% CI, 1.54-5.41), gout significantly increased the risk of all-cause death. The adjusted HR for gout-related all-cause mortality was 1.86 (95% CI, 1.01-3.41). Age and chronic renal disease were mortality predictors in the gout group. Patients with gout carried an elevated risk of both cardiovascular and noncardiovascular deaths.

Gout was a reliable predictor of future all-cause death in patients hospitalized for cardiovascular events. Active gout screening made it possible to identify a broader population at risk for mortality and might assist in adapting patient care to lessen its cardiovascular effects.