An Independent Risk of Gout on the Development of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism: A Nationwide, Population-Based Cohort Study

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Previous studies indicated that gout is a risk factor of cardiovascular diseases. This study aimed to determine if patients with gout have an increased risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE).

We used the Longitudinal Health Insurance Database, a subset of the national insurance claim dataset, which enrolled 1 million Taiwanese to identify 57,981 patients with gout and 115,961 reference subjects matched by sex, age, and entry date of diagnosis. The risk of DVT and PE was analyzed using the Cox proportional hazards model.

In this Taiwanese dataset observed from 2000 to 2010, we found the incidence of DVT was 5.26 per 104 person-years in the gout cohort, which was twofold higher than the incidence of 2.63 per 104 person-years in the reference cohort. After adjusting for age, sex, and 9 comorbidities, the hazard ratio (HR) of developing DVT was 1.66 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.37–2.01). Among patients with gout, the youngest age group had the highest increase in the risk of developing DVT (HR [95% CI] = 2.04 [1.24–3.37] for ages 20 to 49 years, 1.80 [1.28–2.51] for ages 50 to 64 years, and 1.45 [1.11–1.91] for ages ≥65 years). The incidence of PE was about one-fifth that of DVT in gout patients, but the effect of gout on the risk was similar (HR [95% CI] = 1.53 [1.01–2.29]).

Our analysis confirmed that gout increased the risk of DVT and PE. Further exploration is needed in the future.

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