Gout Increases Risk for Incident Parkinson Disease in Older Adults

Investigators evaluated the relationship of gout with the risk for incident Parkinson disease in adults ≥age 65.

In individuals between age 65 and 75, gout may increase the risk for incident Parkinson disease (PD), according to study results published in BMC Neurology.

A 5% random sample of Medicare claims data recorded between 2006 and 2012 were used to examine the association between gout and incident PD in individuals ≥age 65. Gout was classified according to 2 claims of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, common modification diagnostic codes, whereas incident PD was identified by ≥2 claims for PD ≥4 weeks apart. Researchers adjusted their analysis for patient demographics, comorbidities, and common cardiovascular disease and gout medications.

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A total of 1.72 million Medicare beneficiaries were eligible for inclusion in the study (mean age, 75.3±7.6). Approximately 37% of the cohort had a Charlson-Romano comorbidity index score of ≥2. Of the 22,636 individuals who developed incident PD during the 2006 to 2012 period, a total of 1129 beneficiaries had gout. The crude incidence rates of PD per 1000 person-years were higher in people with vs without gout (3.7 vs 2.2, respectively). Gout was associated with a 1.14-times higher hazard of incident PD (hazard ratio [HR] 1.14; 95% CI, 1.07-1.21; P <.0001). Differences in risk were observed in patients between age 65 and 75 (HR 1.27; 95% CI, 1.16-1.39; P <.0001), 75 to <85 (HR 1.07; 95% CI, 0.97-1.16; P =.17), and ≥85 (HR 0.97; 95% CI, 0.79-1.20; P =.77).

A limitation of the analysis included the use of Medicare beneficiary patients, which may not be fully representative of the population at large.

“Mechanisms of this increased risk of PD in patients with gout needs to be investigated further,” the researchers concluded, “and what role inflammation, oxidative stress and serum urate play in this need to be assessed.”


Singh JA, Cleveland JD. Gout and the risk of Parkinson’s disease in older adults: a study of U.S. Medicare data. BMC Neurol. 2019;19(1):4.