Gout and the risk of dementia: a nationwide population-based cohort study

Arthritis Res Ther. 2015 May 28;17(1):139. doi: 10.1186/s13075-015-0642-1.


Introduction: Uric acid was proposed to have anti-oxidant property and possible neuroprotective effects. We examined the association between gout and dementia with population database.

Methods: The study utilized the claims data from the nationwide representative sample of Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD). We ascertained patients with gout and dementia covering vascular and non-vascular (including Alzheimer's) subtypes using International Classification of Diseases Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD9-CM) codes. A control group matched on sex, age, and index date of gout patients was randomly sampled with a ratio of 1:4 from the same database for comparison.

Results: From 2002 to 2008, 28,769 gout patients who were older than 50 years old were identified, and 114,742 control patients was matched into the study. During follow-up, 7,119 patients developed dementia (1,214 with gout, and 5,905 without gout). After adjusting for age, sex, and relevant comorbidities, a Cox regression analysis showed that gout patients had a lower risk of developing non-vascular dementia (hazard ratio (HR): 0.77; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.72-0.83; p < 0.001) and vascular dementia (HR: 0.76; 95% CI: 0.65-0.88; p < 0.001).

Conclusions: Patients with gout have a lower risk of developing dementia. This phenomenon exists for both non-vascular and vascular types of dementia.

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Gout / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Factors