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21-02-2010 | Gynaecology | Article

Menopause linked to increased risk for gout


Journal abstract

MedWire News: Study findings suggest that menopause is linked to an increased risk for gout, which is reduced through postmenopausal hormone therapy.

The researchers used data from the Nurses’ Health Study to examine the association between menopause, age at menopause, postmenopausal hormone use, and risk for self-reported physician diagnosed incident gout among 92,535 women without gout at baseline, over a 16-year period.

In total, 1,703 cases of incident gout were documented. The incidence of gout significantly increased from 0.6 cases per 1,000 person-years in women aged younger than 45 years to 2.5 cases per 1,000 person-years in women aged 75 years or older.

After adjusting for age, body mass index, diuretic use, hypertension, alcohol intake, and dietary factors, postmenopausal women had a significantly increased risk for gout compared with premenopausal women (relative risk [RR] = 1.26), which was higher among women with surgical than with natural menopause (RR = 1.37 vs 1.17).

Women who experienced menopause aged younger than 45 years were also significantly more likely to have incident gout compared with those who reached menopause aged 50-54 years (RR = 1.62).

Furthermore, postmenopausal hormone users had a significant 18% reduced risk for gout compared with women who never used hormone therapy.

“The current study provides the first prospective evidence for the long-suspected hypothesis that menopause and postmenopausal hormone use affect the risk for gout among women,” say Hyon Choi (Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, USA) and co-authors.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Ingrid Grasmo