Obesity and younger age at gout onset in a community-based cohort

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2011 Aug;63(8):1108-14. doi: 10.1002/acr.20479.


Objective: Obesity is associated with gout risk. It is unclear whether obesity is associated with a younger age at gout onset. We examined whether obesity is related to age at gout onset and quantified the risk of incident gout by obesity status in the Campaign Against Cancer and Heart Disease (CLUE II) study, a longitudinal community-based cohort.

Methods: CLUE II began in 1989 as a cohort study of residents living within or surrounding Washington County, Maryland. Followup questionnaires queried whether each participant had been diagnosed as having gout by a health care professional. Among participants with gout, we assessed whether obesity was related to age at disease onset. We also ascertained the 18-year risk of incident gout according to obesity status (body mass index ≥30 kg/m(2) ) at baseline with cumulative incidence ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) from Poisson regression.

Results: Among the study population (n = 15,533), 517 persons developed incident gout. The prevalence of obesity at baseline was 16.2%. The overall mean age at gout onset was 59.3 years. The onset of gout was 3.1 years (95% CI 0.3, 5.8) earlier in those who were obese at baseline and 11.0 years earlier (95% CI 5.8, 16.1) in participants who were obese at age 21 years, as compared with the nonobese participants. The 18-year adjusted RR of gout in obese participants compared with nonobese participants was 1.92 (95% CI 1.55, 2.37).

Conclusion: Obesity is not only a risk factor for incident gout but is associated with an earlier age at gout onset.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Community-Based Participatory Research
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Gout / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology*
  • Population Surveillance*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Young Adult