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01.12.2017 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders 1/2017

Allopurinol use and the risk of acute cardiovascular events in patients with gout and diabetes

BMC Cardiovascular Disorders > Ausgabe 1/2017
Jasvinder A. Singh, Rekha Ramachandaran, Shaohua Yu, Jeffrey R. Curtis
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​s12872-017-0513-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Few studies, if any, have examined cardiovascular outcomes in patients with diabetes and gout. Both diabetes and gout are risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of allopurinol on the risk of incident acute cardiovascular events in patients with gout and diabetes.


We used the 2007–2010 Multi-Payer Claims Database (MPCD) that linked health plan data from national commercial and governmental insurances, representing beneficiaries with United Healthcare, Medicare, or Medicaid coverage. In patients with gout and diabetes, we assessed the current allopurinol use, defined as a new filled prescription for allopurinol, as the main predictor of interest. Our outcome of interest was the occurrence of the first Incident hospitalized myocardial infarction (MI) or stroke (composite acute cardiovascular event), after which observations were censored. We employed multivariable-adjusted Cox proportional hazards models that simultaneously adjusted for patient demographics, cardiovascular risk factors and other medical comorbidities. We calculated hazard ratios [HR] (95% confidence intervals [CI]) for incident composite (MI or stroke) acute cardiovascular events. We performed sensitivity analyses that additionally adjusted for the presence of immune diseases and colchicine use, as potential confounders.


There were 2,053,185 person days (5621.3 person years) of current allopurinol use and 1,671,583 person days (4576.5 person years) of prior allopurinol use. There were 158 incident MIs or strokes in current and 151 in prior allopurinol users, respectively. Compared to previous allopurinol users, current allopurinol users had significantly lower adjusted hazard of incident acute cardiovascular events (incident stroke or MI), with an HR of 0.67 (95% CI, 0.53, 0.84). Sensitivity analyses, additionally adjusted for immune diseases or colchicine use, confirmed this association.


Current allopurinol use protected against the occurrence of acute cardiovascular events in patients with gout and diabetes. The underlying mechanisms for this potential cardio-protective effect of allopurinol need further exploration.
Additional file 1: International Classification for Diseases, Ninth revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) Diagnostic Codes for each condition used for outcome, cohort eligibility, and covariate definitions. This file provides the ICD-9-CM codes for underlying conditions, study outcomes and covariates. (DOC 43 kb)
Additional file 2: Multivariable-adjusted associations of allopurinol use with composite outcome (MI or stroke) for prevalent allopurinol users* with gout and diabetes, with previous allopurinol users as the reference category. This file provides the results of sensitivity analyses, repeating the main analysis in prevalent allopurinol users, instead of incident allopurinol users. (DOC 31 kb)
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