Prevalence of comorbid conditions and prescription medication use among patients with gout and hyperuricemia in a managed care setting

J Clin Rheumatol. 2004 Dec;10(6):308-14. doi: 10.1097/01.rhu.0000147049.12220.32.


Background: : Comorbid disorders and multiple prescription drug use are common among patients with gout and/or hyperuricemia and may influence the clinical course and outcome of gout.

Objective: : We wanted to document the conditions and associated medications in a large group of patients with gout in a managed care setting.

Methods: : This study was a 2-year, retrospective, administrative claims analysis examining comorbid conditions and medication use among managed care enrollees with gout/hyperuricemia across the United States.

Results: : Of the 9482 study subjects (82.1% men, mean age 52 years), 57.9% had hypertension, 45.3% had a lipid disorder, 32.5% had both conditions, and 19.9% had diabetes mellitus. During the 24-month follow-up period, subjects had 5 +/- 3.14 (mean +/- standard deviation) different comorbid conditions and filled prescriptions for of 11.0 +/- 7.90 different medications. The most commonly filled prescriptions included antihypertensive drugs, 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins), and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Conclusions: : The study indicates a high prevalence of both comorbid conditions and multiple medication use among managed care enrollees with gout and/or hyperuricemia. Heightened awareness of these associated disorders is important because they may warrant treatment of their own accord and often some modification of gout management. Drugs, particularly diuretics and prophylactic aspirin, could potentially contribute to the development of hyperuricemia and gout.