Gout patients at risk of developing depression, anxiety

03 Feb 2021

The odds of developing depression and anxiety are high among patients with gout, suggest the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis.

The investigators searched the databases of Medline, Embase, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cinahl, and PsychINFO using indexed terms and key words to identify studies reporting on depression or anxiety in gout patients.

The review included full-text articles published in English that reported on gout patients, assessed depression/anxiety using a routinely reported measure, and provided estimates or sufficient data on the prevalence, incidence, determinants, or effects of depression/anxiety. Random effects models were used to carry out the meta-analyses.

A total of 901 articles were identified, of which 20 met the eligibility criteria. All (n=20; 100 percent) of the included studies assessed depression, and only half (n=10; 50 percent) evaluated anxiety.

A positive association was observed between gout and mental health disorders (depression: pooled odds ratio [OR], 1.29, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.07–1.56; anxiety: pooled OR, 1.29, 95 percent CI, 0.96–1.73).

Four studies reporting on the incidence of depression in patients with gout had a pooled HR of 1.17 (95 percent CI, 1.01–1.36. Depression was significantly associated with the number of tophi, frequency of flares, and oligo/polyarticular gout.

“Our systematic review suggests that depression and anxiety are significantly associated with gout, highlighting the need for future research to focus on the onset of mental disorders after gout diagnosis,” the investigators said.

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