Importance: Recurrent flares are the hallmark of clinical manifestation of gout. Sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors (SGLT2i) have been associated with a lower risk of incident gout; however, their association with recurrent flares is unknown.
Objective: To examine the association of SGLT2i vs active comparators (ie, glucagonlike peptide-1 receptor agonists [GLP-1 RA] or dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors [DPP-4i]) with the risk of recurrent gout flares and all-cause mortality among patients with gout and type 2 diabetes.
Design, setting, and participants: This population-based retrospective cohort study was performed from January 1, 2013, to March 31, 2022, using a UK primary care database. Participants included patients with gout and type 2 diabetes with visits to their general practitioners.
Exposures: Initiation of treatment with SGLT2i or active comparators.
Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was the number of recurrent gout flares ascertained using recorded codes and prescription records. Secondary outcomes were the first recurrent gout flare and all-cause mortality. The association of SGLT2i compared with active comparators for the risk of recurrent flares, the first recurrent flare, and all-cause mortality was assessed using Poisson regression or the Cox proportional hazards model with propensity score overlap weighting.
Results: Of a total of 5931 patients included in the analysis (mean [SD] age, 66.0 [11.6] years; 4604 [77.6%] men), 1548 initiated SGLT2i treatment and 4383 initiated treatment with active comparators during the study period. The relative rate of the recurrent flares with SGLT2i vs active comparators was 0.79 (95% CI, 0.65-0.97). Similar results were observed in the association of SGLT2i with the rate of recurrent flares when compared with DPP-4i or GLP-1 RA. For the first recurrent flare for SGLT2i vs active comparators, rate difference was -8.8 (95% CI, -17.2 to -0.4) per 1000 person-years and the hazard ratio was 0.81 (95% CI, 0.65-0.98). All-cause mortality per 1000 person-years was 18.8 for SGLT2i and 24.9 for active comparators, with rate difference of -6.1 (95% CI, -10.6 to -1.6) per 1000 person-years and hazard ratio of 0.71 (95% CI, 0.52-0.97).
Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest that SGLT2i were associated with a lower risk of recurrent gout flares and mortality than their active comparators in patients with gout and type 2 diabetes. These findings further suggest that SGLT2i could help reduce the burden of recurrent gout flares and could also narrow the mortality gap between patients with gout and the general population.