Gout linked to 50% increase in cancer risk
DESTIN, Fla. — Patients with gout are 50% more likely to develop cancer, with prostate cancer being the most common among that population, according to a presenter at the North American Young Rheumatology Investigator Forum.
“Although uric acid can function as a systemic antioxidant in low levels, studies have shown that increased levels of serum uric acid can contribute to inflammation that can lead to the development of cancer,” Patricia Kachur, MD, of Ochsner Medical Center, Jefferson, Louisiana, told attendees. “Gout is the most common inflammatory disease in the United States, and is characterized by hyperuricemia. It is most common in men and is related to obesity, hypertension and diabetes. The prevalence of gout is increasing worldwide, and so during the past few years the associations between gout, hyperuricemia and cancer have sparked a lot of research.”
To determine whether there is an association between gout and cancer development, Kachur and colleagues conducted a population-based study using the Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
The survey, conducted by the CDC and the National Center for Health Statistics, included 11,262 members of the general population, questioned between 2011 and 2014. Participants completed a questionnaire, a physical examination and laboratory studies. The researchers completed their data analysis using SAS software version 9.4.
According to Kachur, the adjusted multivariate analysis suggested that individuals with gout were 50% more likely to develop malignancy (OR = 1.54; 95% CI, 1.16-2.04). Prostate cancer was the most common form of malignancy among patients with gout, with a rate of 25%, followed by cervix, breast and colon, each with a rate of 8.4%. Kachur added that patients with rheumatoid arthritis also appeared to demonstrate an increased risk for cancer (OR = 1.605; 95% CI, 1.217-2.047).
“Despite our study’s limitations, the fact that our findings correlate with that of other, international studies suggests that the relationship between gout and cancer is real,” she added. “This warrants further characterization. The future directions of this study would include developing a cohort study following these gout patients to observe what kinds of cancers develop and when. Perhaps then we can develop an earlier screening process or earlier detection, and therefore decrease the financial burden that cancer has on our society at this moment.” – by Jason Laday
Kachur P. Is gout a risk factor for development of cancer? Presented at: North American Young Rheumatology Investigator Forum; May 1, 2019; Destin, Fla.
Disclosure: Kachur reports no relevant financial disclosures.