Background: Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in the United States (U.S.) and is associated with specific comorbidities, including hypertension, renal disease, cardiovascular disease, hyperlipidemia, and metabolic syndrome (1). This set of comorbidities is known for carrying an increased risk of macrovascular complications (e.g., myocardial infarction, stroke) and peripheral limb problems (e.g., skin ulcers, amputations). Diabetics are known to have an elevated risk of undergoing ulcer and amputation procedures, which have been shown to increase morbidity and mortality in this population (2,3). It is currently not known if patients with gout have an elevated independent risk for limb amputations or whether gout potentiates amputation rates in patients with diabetes.
Objectives: To assess and compare the rate of amputation procedures conducted in patients with gout, diabetes, both gout and diabetes, and neither gout nor diabetes.
Methods: In September 2019, a large U.S. claims database (includes data from 190 million patients over 7 years, TriNetX “Diamond” network) was used to determine amputation rates in patients with gout and diabetes. TriNetX only provides aggregate data and statistical summaries of de-identified patient information. Initial cohorts were developed to understand the amputation rate in patients with gout, regardless of diabetes comorbidity (n=4,467,721), and the amputation rate in patients with diabetes, regardless of gout comorbidity (n= 25,972,726). Subsequently, the following four cohorts were constructed to isolate these two diseases: 1) presence of gout without diabetes (n=2,471,430), 2) presence of diabetes without gout (n=23,976,435), 3) presence of both gout and diabetes (n=1,996,291), and 4) absence of both gout and diabetes (control cohort, n=144,705,645). Demographic features of these groups were tabulated and amputation (foot, toes, hand, fingers) rates were calculated using procedural codes reported in each group.
Results: The overall rate of amputations in patients with gout (0.434%) was similar to the amputation rate in patients with diabetes (0.484%). However, when separating these patients into distinct, non-overlapping cohorts, the amputation rate in patients with gout but not diabetes (0.162%) differed from the rate in patients with diabetes but not gout (0.461%). The control population (no gout or diabetes) had an amputation rate of 0.035%. Unexpectedly, patients with both gout and diabetes had an amputation rate of 0.770%, the highest of all groups examined.
Conclusion: Gout is increasingly being linked to unfavorable cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic complications. Our analysis showed that having gout also increased the likelihood of undergoing an amputation procedure. Patients with gout but not diabetes suffered an approximately 3-fold increase in amputations compared to patients without either disease. Additionally, patients with both gout and diabetes had a notably increased risk of amputation compared to patients with only diabetes (no gout). Because amputations are an unfavorable outcome associated with procedural complication risk and long-term sequelae, this apparent increased risk of amputation in patients with gout warrants further exploration.
References: Dalbeth N, et al. Nature Reviews Disease Primers, 2019;5(69):1-17
Geiss LS, et al. Diabetes Care, 2019;42:50-54
Moulik PK, et al. Diabetes Care, 2003;26:491-494
Disclosure of Interests: Brian LaMoreaux Shareholder of: Horizon Therapeutics, Employee of: Horizon Therapeutics, Megan Francis-Sedlak Shareholder of: Horizon Therapeutics, Employee of: Horizon Therapeutics, Robert Holt Shareholder of: Horizon Therapeutics, Employee of: Horizon Therapeutics
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.