Objectives: To investigate the association between gout and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Methods: The study subjects were participants in a health-screening programme at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital from 2000 to 2006. Subjects were classified into eight groups based on serum urate (SU) level and gout status (≤ 4.9, 5.0-6.9, 7.0-8.9, and ≥ 9.0 mg/dL, without and with gout). The association between gout and NAFLD was assessed by multiple logistic regression.
Results: Among a total of 54 325 subjects, 1930 (3.6%) had gout and 6169 (11.3%) had NAFLD. The prevalence of NAFLD was significantly higher in subjects with gout (23.1%, n = 445) than in those without gout (10.9%, n = 5724, p < 0.001). Among subjects with NAFLD, the severity of NAFLD was higher in gout patients. Gout was associated with an increased risk for NAFLD [odds ratio (OR) 1.42, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.25-1.60, p < 0.001], after adjustment for age, sex, presence of metabolic syndrome, and low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). With SU ≤ 4.9 mg/dL in the absence of gout as reference, the ORs (95% CI) for NAFLD, after adjustment for age, sex, presence of metabolic syndrome, and low eGFR, were, respectively, 2.16 (1.94-2.41), 3.98 (3.55-4.46), and 5.99 (5.19-6.90) for SU levels 2-4 in those without gout and 2.61 (1.39-4.91), 2.87 (2.04-4.04), 4.53 (3.70-5.56), and 6.31 (5.12-7.77) for SU levels 1-4 in those with gout.
Conclusions: There was an independent association between gout and the risk for NAFLD. In addition, there was a dose-response relationship between SU and NAFLD in subjects with and without gout.