Objective: To investigate the association between gout and myocardial infarction (MI) in a representative cohort in Taiwan.
Methods: Data were collected from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database. Adults >20 years of age without history of MI were included. Patients were considered to have gout if they received a diagnosis of gout requiring medical treatment. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate the risk of MI in gout patients.
Results: Of the 704 503 patients included, 26 556 (3.8%) had gout. In total, 3718 (with gout, n = 463; without gout, n = 3255) patients had an MI, 299 (with gout, n = 35; without gout, n = 264) of whom died. The incidence of MI was 2.20 and 0.60 per 1000 patient-years in individuals with and without gout, respectively (log-rank test, P < 0.001). After adjustment for age, sex and history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and end-stage renal disease, gout was associated with MIs [hazard ratio (HR), 1.23] and non-fatal MIs (HR, 1.26). In individuals without cardiovascular risk factors, gout was associated with MIs (HR 1.84; 95% CI 1.51, 2.24) and non-fatal MIs (HR 1.80; 95% CI 1.49, 3.95), after adjustment for age and sex. Moreover, in our study population, the HRs for MI decreased as age increased.
Conclusion: Gout is an independent risk factor for MI, and the increased risk of MI is present even in young people and those without cardiovascular risk factors.