Patients with Gout at increased risk of epilepsy, finds study
A recent study found that there is a significantly increased risk of epilepsy in patients who have Gout. The study was published in the journal, "Medicine" 2020.
Gout is a chronic inflammatory disease related to uric acid metabolism and causing increased burden worldwide. The disease process involves the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints triggering inflammation. This in turn leads to joint pains and the release of cytokines in the body. Recent studies have shown that gout can be associated with certain neurologic disorders associated with inflammation like epilepsy. Epilepsy is one of the most common neurologic disorders which can be triggered by inflammation. Chen and Hung Lin et al from Taiwan conducted a study to investigate the association of epilepsy with gout and determine the risk of epilepsy in patients with gout.
The authors analysed a national database that included all patients with gout in Taiwan. They obtained the gout cohort from the Registry of Catastrophic Illnesses Patient Database (RCIPD). 104,238 patients who were aged 20 years or more and newly diagnosed with gout between 2000 and 2011 were identified. Patients with 3 outpatient visits or history of gout-specific hospitalization between 2000 and 2011 were considered. Patients without gout were frequency matched with the gout cohort at a 2:1 ratio according to age, sex, comorbidities, and year of gout diagnosis. Patients with a pre-diagnosis of epilepsy before the index date or an incomplete medical history or follow-up within 6 months were excluded from the study.
The key findings of the study were:
• The gout cohort showed a 1.27-fold higher overall crude hazard ratio (HR) for epilepsy compared with the control cohort.
• After adjusting the analyses by age, sex, and comorbidities the gout patients displayed an increased risk of epilepsy compared with the control group.
• There was a statistically significant increased risk of epilepsy in patients with gout compared with patients without gout.
Thus, the researchers concluded that there is a significantly higher risk of epilepsy in patients with gout. They also added that this study provides further evidence for the debate around the effect of gout on brain health.
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