ObjectivesAn increased risk of mortality in patients with hyperuricemia has been reported. We examined (1) the risk of all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality in untreated hyperuricemic patients who did not receive urate-lowering therapy (ULT), and (2) the impact of ULT on mortality risk in patients with hyperuricemia.
MethodsIn this retrospective case-matched cohort study during a mean follow-up of 6.4 years, 40,118 Taiwanese individuals aged ?17 years who had never used ULT and who had never had gout were examined. The mortality rate was compared between 3,088 hyperuricemic patients who did not receive ULT and reference subjects (no hyperuricemia, no gout, no ULT) matched for age and sex (1:3 hyperuricemic patients/reference subjects), and between 1,024 hyperuricemic patients who received ULT and 1,024 hyperuricemic patients who did not receive ULT (matched 1:1 based on their propensity score and the index date of ULT prescription). Cox proportional hazard modeling was used to estimate the respective risk of all-cause and CVD (ICD-9 code 390-459) mortality.
ResultsAfter adjustment, hyperuricemic patients who did not receive ULT had increased risks of all-cause (hazard ratio, 1.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.97-1.59) and CVD (2.13; 1.34-3.39) mortality relative to the matched reference subjects. Hyperuricemic patients treated with ULT had a lower risk of all-cause death (0.60; 0.41-0.88) relative to hyperuricemic patients who did not receive ULT.
ConclusionUnder-treatment of hyperuricemia has serious negative consequences. Hyperuricemic patients who received ULT had potentially better survival than patients who did not.