Send to

Choose Destination
Arthritis Rheumatol. 2015 Dec;67(12):3298-302. doi: 10.1002/art.39330.

Sleep Apnea and the Risk of Incident Gout: A Population-Based, Body Mass Index-Matched Cohort Study.

Author information

Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts.
Keele University, Keele, UK.
Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.



Sleep apnea is associated with hyperuricemia owing to hypoxia-induced nucleotide turnover. We undertook this study to assess the relationship between incident sleep apnea and the risk of incident gout.


Using data from The Health Improvement Network in the UK, we identified individuals with a first-ever physician diagnosis of sleep apnea. For each patient with sleep apnea, up to 5 individuals without sleep apnea were matched by sex, age, birth year, and body mass index (within ±0.5 kg/m(2) ). We estimated the incidence rates of gout and examined the relationship between sleep apnea and the risk of incident gout using a Cox proportional hazards model, adjusting for potential confounders. In addition, we assessed the rate difference in gout due to sleep apnea using an additive hazard model.


Among 9,865 patients with newly diagnosed sleep apnea and 43,598 matched individuals without sleep apnea, we identified 270 incident cases of gout over 1 year of followup, resulting in incidence rates of 8.4 per 1,000 person-years and 4.8 per 1,000 person-years, respectively. The crude and multivariable rate ratios of incident gout in patients with sleep apnea were 1.7 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.3, 2.2) and 1.5 (95% CI 1.1, 2.1), respectively. The corresponding rate differences between patients with sleep apnea and the comparison cohort were 3.6 (95% CI 1.6, 5.6) and 2.8 (95% CI 0.7, 4.9) per 1,000 person-years. The effect of sleep apnea persisted across subgroups.


This general population-based study indicates that sleep apnea is independently associated with an increased risk of incident gout. Future research should examine the potential benefits of correcting sleep apnea-induced hypoxia on the risk of hyperuricemia and gout flares.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center