Study finds gout drug may reduce risk of death

March 24, 2014

(Boston)—In a recently to be published study in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, researchers have found the use of the drug allopurinol was associated with a reduced risk of death in hyperuricemic (gout) patients. The study, the first in a general population, has found the overall benefit of allopurinol on survival may outweigh the impact of rare serious adverse effects.

Researchers from the Section of Rheumatology and Clinical Epidemiology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) contributed to this study.

Gout has been associated with an increased risk of premature . Allopurinol is the most commonly used urate-lowering medication for this condition but is not without possible side effects. According to the researchers, a rare but potentially fatal adverse reaction affects approximately 1 in 260 allopurinol users and has led to reluctance among some physicians to prescribe this drug despite its potential benefits.

Using The Health Improvement Network database, which contains computerized medical records entered by general practitioners in the United Kingdom, the researchers evaluated the effect of starting allopurinol on the risk of death, among patients who had high uric acid (a blood marker for ), and those who were diagnosed with gout. They identified 5,927 people who started allopurinol, and used advanced statistical methods to identify the same number of control patients who had similar baseline characteristics, to assure the two groups were comparable. All subjects were followed until they died, or the end of the study period.

"We found that allopurinol initiation was associated with an 11 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality compared with non-initiators in hyperuricemic patients, and a 19 percent lower risk of mortality in gout patients," explained lead author Maureen Dubreuil, MD, an instructor of medicine at BUSM. "These risk reductions were apparent from the first year and throughout the subsequent years of follow-up," she added.

According to Dubreuil this research is important because it shows that treatment with may not only treat gout, but it may protect gout patients from .

Explore further: Vitamin C does not lower uric acid levels in gout patients

Related Stories

Vitamin C does not lower uric acid levels in gout patients

May 16, 2013
Despite previous studies touting its benefit in moderating gout risk, new research reveals that vitamin C, also known ascorbic acid, does not reduce uric acid (urate) levels to a clinically significant degree in patients ...

Severe cutaneous adverse rxns up in allopurinol initiators

April 23, 2013
(HealthDay)—Allopurinol initiators have an almost 10-fold increased risk of severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) compared with nonusers, according to a study published in the April issue of Arthritis Care & Research.

Gout drug offers hope for heart disease patients

March 5, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Research at the University of Dundee has shown than an old, inexpensive anti-gout drug has benefits for heart disease sufferers and has the potential to one day help prevent heart disease, sudden deaths ...

Gout drug shown to benefit diabetes patients at risk of heart disease

August 29, 2013
New research carried out at the University of Dundee has led to the possibility of using an old drug to help prevent the biggest cause of death in Type II diabetes patients.

Screening of patients with rheumatism improves insight into cardiovascular disease

March 21, 2014
Since the fifties, researchers have observed that patients with rheumatoid arthritis have an increased mortality from cardiovascular disease. Patients with this form of rheumatism were approximately 50% more likely to suffer ...

Recommended for you

Fluid in the knee holds clues for why osteoarthritis is more common in females

June 26, 2017
Researchers have more evidence that males and females are different, this time in the fluid that helps protect the cartilage in their knee joints.

Biologics before triple therapy not cost effective for rheumatoid arthritis

May 29, 2017
Stepping up to biologic therapy when methotrexate monotherapy fails offers minimal incremental benefit over using a combination of drugs known as triple therapy, yet incurs large costs for treating rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ...

Drug for refractory psoriatic arthritis shows promise in clinical trial

May 24, 2017
In a pivotal phase-3 clinical trial led by a Stanford University School of Medicine investigator, patients with psoriatic arthritis for whom standard-of-care pharmaceutical treatments have provided no lasting relief experienced ...

Cross-species links identified for osteoarthritis

May 17, 2017
New research from the University of Liverpool, published today in the journal npj Systems Biology and Applications, has identified 'cell messages' that could help identify the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA).

Osteoarthritis could be prevented with good diet and exercise

May 12, 2017
Osteoarthritis can potentially be prevented with a good diet and regular exercise, a new expert review published in the Nature Reviews Rheumatology reports.

Rodents with trouble walking reveal potential treatment approach for most common joint disease

May 11, 2017
Maintaining the supply of a molecule that helps to nourish cartilage prevented osteoarthritis in animal models of the disease, according to a report published in Nature Communications online May 11.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.