Gout and the risk of age-related macular degeneration in the elderly

Academic Article


  • This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. Objective To assess whether gout is associated with incident age-related macular degeneration (AMD) Methods We used the 5% Medicare claims data from 2006–12 for all beneficiaries who were enrolled in Medicare fee-for-service (Parts A, B) and not enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, and resided in the U.S. People were censored at the occurrence of new diagnosis of AMD, death or the end of study (12/31/2012), whichever occurred first. We used multivariable-adjusted Cox regression analyses to assess the association of gout with incident AMD, adjusted for demographics, comorbidity, and use of medications for cardiovascular disease and gout. Hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Results In this observational cohort study, of the 1,684,314 eligible people, 116,097 developed incident AMD (6.9%). Incidence rates of AMD per 1,000 person-years were 20.1 for people with gout and 11.7 for people without gout. In multivariable-adjusted analyses, a diagnosis of gout was significantly associated with a higher risk of incident AMD with a hazard ratio of 1.39 (95% CI, 1.35, 1.43). This association was confirmed in sensitivity analyses that substituted Charlson-Romano comorbidity index continuous score with either a categorical Charlson-Romano comorbidity index score or individual Charlson-Romano index comorbidities plus hypertension, hyperlipidemia and coronary artery disease. Other covariates significantly associated with higher hazards of incident AMD were older age, female gender, White race/ethnicity, and higher Charlson-Romano comorbidity index score. Conclusions We noted a novel association of gout with AMD in the elderly. Future studies should investigate the pathways that mediate this association.
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    Published In

  • PLoS ONE  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Singh JA; Cleveland JD
  • Volume

  • 13
  • Issue

  • 7