Background Total joint replacement (TJR) is a major surgical procedure aiming to replace damaged natural joints with artificial prosthesis to restore function and alleviate pain. Total knee replacement (TKR) and total hip replacement (THR) are two common replacement procedures, mainly as a result of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, trauma, fracture and infection. Whether gout associates with a greater risk of TJR independent of these primary risk factors is controversial, despite tophaceous or chronic deforming gouty arthritis may lead to joint destruction and subsequent TJR
Objectives We carried out a case control study using the National Health Insurance (NHI) database with full coverage of the general population of Taiwan to investigate the burden of TJR in gout patients at diagnosis compared to matched controls. We further followed incident gout patients and their matched controls after diagnosis to compare their subsequent risk for TJR.
Methods The Taiwan National Health Insurance database was used to identify 74,729 new diagnosis gout patients in 2005. These were matched 1:1 to 74,729 controls by birth year and sex with people who did not have gout diagnosis or urate-lowering treatment prescription. Odds ratios (ORs) of total hip or knee replacement (THR or TJR) at diagnosis and hazards ratios (HRs) after diagnosis were estimated adjusted for gender, age at diagnosis, comorbidities, co-medications, place of residence, income and occupation.
Results Gout was associated with adjusted ORs (95% CIs) of 0.87 (0.54 to 1.40), 1.01 (0.57 to 1.79), 0.93 (0.64 to 1.35) for the THR, TKR and TJR at diagnosis, respectively. The incidence rate of THR or TKR in the patients with gout was 1.60 and 1.76 (per 1,000 person-years) which was higher than matched controls (0.99 and 0.98, respectively). Gout was also associated with an adjusted HR (95% CI) of 1.41 (1.19 to 1.68), 1.37 (1.16 to 1.61) and 1.37 (1.22 to 1.56) for developing THR, TKR and TJR.
Conclusions Compared to matched controls people with gout did not have an increased risk of TJR at diagnosis but the risk increased substantially after diagnosis. Whether adequate urate-lowering treatment reduces the risk requires further study.
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Roddy E, Zhang W, Doherty M. Are joints affected by gout also affected by osteoarthritis? Ann Rheum Dis 2007;66:1374–7.
Disclosure of Interest None declared
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