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22-01-2012 | General practice | Article

CCBs, losartan may avoid gout


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MedWire News: Calcium channel blockers (CCBs) and the angiotensin receptor blocker (ARB) losartan are the best antihypertensive drugs to prescribe to patients at risk for developing gout, research suggests.

The study found that patients with hypertension currently using CCBs had a 13% lower risk for gout relative to those who had never used CCBs, while those currently using losartan had a 19% lower risk relative to never-users.

These associations were independent of use of other antihypertensive drugs and other risk factors for gout, such as age, body mass index, smoking, alcohol use, and the presence of ischemic heart disease, hyperlipidemia, and renal failure. Furthermore, similar associations were seen in patients without hypertension, report Hyon Choi (Boston University, Massachusetts, USA) and team in the BMJ.

Beta blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and ARBs other than losartan on the other hand were all associated with increased relative risks for gout.

The authors say these findings are compatible with the documented urate-lowering properties of CCBs and losartan.

The findings come from an analysis of data on 24,768 people aged 20-79 years with newly diagnosed gout, and a random sample of 50,000 matched control individuals, taken from the UK general practice Health Improvement Network database.

The reductions in gout risk with CCBs and losartan were greater with a longer duration of use and at higher doses. Furthermore, relative risks for gout were consistently reduced where these drugs were used as part of commonly used combination regimens.

"Our findings suggest that calcium channel blockers and losartan may be protective against the risk of gout among people with hypertension," conclude the researchers.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Caroline Price