Use of diuretics and risk of incident gout: a population-based case-control study

Arthritis Rheumatol. 2014 Jan;66(1):185-96. doi: 10.1002/art.38203.


Objective: Use of diuretics has been associated with an increased risk of gout. Data on different types of diuretics are scarce. We undertook this study to investigate the association between use of loop diuretics, thiazide or thiazide-like diuretics, and potassium-sparing agents and the risk of developing incident gout.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective population-based case-control analysis using the General Practice Research Database established in the UK. We identified case patients who were diagnosed as having incident gout between 1990 and 2010. One control patient was matched to each case patient for age, sex, general practice, calendar time, and years of active history in the database. We used conditional logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs), and we adjusted for potential confounders.

Results: We identified 91,530 incident cases of gout and the same number of matched controls. Compared to past use of diuretics from each respective drug class, adjusted ORs for current use of loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics, thiazide-like diuretics, and potassium-sparing diuretics were 2.64 (95% CI 2.47-2.83), 1.70 (95% CI 1.62-1.79), 2.30 (95% CI 1.95-2.70), and 1.06 (95% CI 0.91-1.23), respectively. Combined use of loop diuretics and thiazide diuretics was associated with the highest relative risk estimates of gout (adjusted OR 4.65 [95% CI 3.51-6.16]). Current use of calcium channel blockers or losartan slightly attenuated the risk of gout in patients who took diuretics.

Conclusion: Use of loop diuretics, thiazide diuretics, and thiazide-like diuretics was associated with an increased risk of incident gout, although use of potassium-sparing agents was not.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Comorbidity
  • Diuretics, Potassium Sparing / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Gout / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / drug therapy
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Incidence
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Overweight / epidemiology
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sodium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Sodium Potassium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Diuretics, Potassium Sparing
  • Sodium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors
  • Sodium Potassium Chloride Symporter Inhibitors