THURSDAY, Jan. 3, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are at higher risk for developing gout than patients without OSA for more than a year after diagnosis, according to a study published in the January issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.

Milica Blagojevic-Bucknall, Ph.D., from Keele University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues used data from the U.K. Clinical Practice Research Datalink to identify 15,879 patients aged ≥18 years who received a diagnosis of OSA between 1990 and 2010 as well as 63,296 controls without OSA matched on age, sex, and practice.

The researchers found that during a median follow-up of 5.8 years, 4.9 percent of patients with OSA and 2.6 percent of patients without OSA developed gout, yielding incidence rates of 7.83 and 4.03 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. The adjusted hazard ratio was 1.42. The risk for developing gout among OSA patients was highest one to two years after the index date (hazard ratio, 1.64) compared with those without OSA, and this finding persisted among those who were overweight and obese. The highest significant hazard ratio (2.02) for those with normal body mass index was seen at two to five years after the index date.

“In this study, patients with OSA continued to be at higher risk of developing gout beyond the first year following the diagnosis,” the authors write.

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