Author Interviews, BMJ, COVID -19 Coronavirus, Gout, Rheumatology / 03.02.2021 Interview with: Dr Rene Oliveira Department of Internal Medicine Ribeirao Preto Medical School University of Sao Paulo Ribeirao Preto, Brazil What is the background for this study? Response: As rheumatologists our background for testing colchicine for COVID-19 was the effect of the drug on gout, Behçet's disease and familial Mediterranean fever. For these diseases, the drug is able to reduce systemic inflammation by acting in some cytokine pathways which the first reports in COVID-19 suggested being the same. We found that colchicine was able to reduce systemic inflammation and diminish the length of need for supplemental oxygen and hospitalisation. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Rheumatology / 12.11.2020 Interview with: Jeffrey D. Kent, M.D., FACG, FACP Executive Vice President, Medical Affairs and Outcomes Research Horizon What is the background for this study? What is the marker for reduced immunogenicity with Pegloticase?   Response: Pegloticase is a recombinant, pegylated uricase that is used for treatment of chronic gout in patients who fail oral urate lowering therapy (uncontrolled gout) and has a demonstrated impact on the serum uric acid (sUA) level. As with other biologics, in some people the body’s immune system develops anti-drug antibodies and reduces the effectiveness of the biologic therapy.  Recent case series and open-label trials have suggested that using an immunomodulator with pegloticase has the potential to increase the durability of response so patients can receive a full course of therapy. Researchers in the RECIPE trial sought to examine whether the co-administration of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), specifically mycophenolate mofetil, may mitigate this loss of efficacy and increase in response rates for people living with uncontrolled gout (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Kidney Disease, NEJM / 24.06.2020 Interview with: Sunil Badve MBBS, MD, DNB, FRACP, PhD, FASN Staff specialist nephrologist | St George Hospital Conjoint Associate Professor | University of New South Wales Senior Research Fellow, Acute Kidney Injury and Trials The George Institute for Global Health Australia What is the background for this study? Response: Elevated serum urate levels are associated with progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD patients often have elevated serum urate levels due to decreased excretion. We conducted this placebo-controlled randomized trial to evaluate if urate-lowering treatment with allopurinol would attenuate decline in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) over 2 years in patients with CKD. We enrolled 369 CKD patients with high progression risk and no prior history of gout. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Hepatitis - Liver Disease, Rheumatology / 15.06.2020 Interview with: Brian LaMoreaux, M.D., M.S. Medical Director, Medical Affairs Horizon Therapeutics What is the background for this study? Response: Hyperuricemia is associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) but the relationship to fibrosis remains uncertain. Moreover, it is not known whether lowering serum urate will affect the course of NAFLD.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Rheumatology / 15.06.2020 Interview with: Brian LaMoreaux, M.D., M.S. Medical Director, Medical Affairs Horizon Therapeutics What is the background for this study? Response: Pegloticase is a PEGylated biologic therapy for patients with uncontrolled gout who have not improved on or could not tolerate conventional urate-lowering therapies. All biologics have the ability to engender anti-drug antibodies (ADAs) and it is known that some patients given pegloticase develop ADAs that cause them to stop treatment prior to receiving a complete course of therapy. In other rheumatic autoimmune diseases, DMARDs such as methotrexate or azathioprine are used as standard of care to prevent the development of ADAs to biologics. These DMARDs often allow patients to remain on biologic therapies longer and receive the full therapeutic benefits while minimizing adverse events. While pegloticase has been used traditionally as monotherapy, recent case series have demonstrated the therapeutic benefit of immunomodulator co-administration, allowing more patients to receive a full course of pegloticase therapy. Little has been published on how widespread this practice is and whether it has changed over time. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Heart Disease / 14.06.2020 Interview with: Brian LaMoreaux, M.D., M.S. Medical Director, Medical Affairs Horizon Therapeutics What is the background for this study? Response: This is an independent study by Dr. Gurkipal Singh for which Horizon provided support and funding. Heart failure is the eighth leading cause of death in the US, with a 38% increase in the number of deaths due to HF from 2011 to 2017. Dr. Gurkirpal Singh conducted this analysis on heart failure hospitalization rates in patients with gout in the US to estimate their clinical and economic impact. Gout and hyperuricemia have previously been recognized as significant risk factors for heart failure, but there is little nationwide data on the clinical and economic consequences of these comorbidities. (more…)
Author Interviews, Diabetes, Gout / 14.06.2020 Interview with: Brian LaMoreaux, M.D., M.S. Medical Director, Medical Affairs Horizon Therapeutics What is the background for this study? Response: People with diabetes are known to have an increased risk of undergoing amputation procedures, however it was not known if patients with gout have an elevated independent risk for digit or limb amputations, or whether gout potentiates amputation rates in patients with diabetes. This analysis assessed and compared the rate of amputation procedures conducted in patients with gout, diabetes, both gout and diabetes, and neither gout nor diabetes via examining records from a large US claims database. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Rheumatology / 14.06.2020 Interview with: LaMoreaux, M.D., M.S. Medical Director, Medical Affairs Horizon Therapeutics What is the background for this study? Response: Pegloticase is an infused biologic approved to treat uncontrolled gout. The drug is highly effective, but patients can develop anti-drug antibodies that may accelerate clearance of pegloticase from the circulation. Randomized clinical trials have shown that 42% of patients treated with bi-weekly pegloticase had a serum uric acid (sUA) below 6.0 mg/dl at 3 and 6 months. Mild-to-moderate immunomodulation has been shown to lower the prevalence of anti-drug antibody formation in patients with other autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, juvenile idiopathic arthritis). Case reports and case series in the literature suggest that low to-moderate doses of methotrexate or azathioprine may also decrease anti-drug antibody formation in uncontrolled gout patients treated with pegloticase.   (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, Gout / 28.01.2020 Interview with: Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Division of General Medicine, Section for Research Boston, MA  02215 What is the background for this study? Response: Gout is a common complication of blood pressure treatment. Furthermore, 75% of adults with gout have hypertension. There are several classes of medications uses to treat hypertension. While prior studies have reported that calcium channel blockers like amlodipine lower uric acid, its effects on gout risk compared to other common first-line antihypertensive agents are unknown.  (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Kidney Disease, Rheumatology, Transplantation / 10.11.2019 Interview with: Megan Francis-Sedlak, PhD Director of Medical Affairs Horizon Therapeutics Lake Forest, Illinois What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of gout is more than ten-fold greater among patients who have undergone a kidney transplant than the general population as post-transplant medications to prevent organ rejection can contribute to increased uric acid levels. Overall studies have shown this can lead to higher rates of uncontrolled gout among this vulnerable population with organ transplants. While we have seen higher mortality rates for patients who have received a kidney transplant with uncontrolled gout compared to kidney transplant patients without uncontrolled gout, we wanted to evaluate the impact of gout on transplant-related complications to better inform patient care and treatment approaches.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Brigham & Women's - Harvard, CMAJ, Dermatology, Heart Disease / 30.09.2019 Interview with: Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School Director, Gout and Crystal Arthropathy Center Director, Clinical Epidemiology and Health Outcomes Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Allopurinol is a very common and generally safe medication prescribed to lower serum urate levels, most commonly to patients with gout. However, it can be associated with very rare but serious cutaneous adverse events which includes Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis. Prior studies have demonstrated several risk factors for these types of cutaneous adverse events, including presence of chronic kidney disease, older age, female sex, higher initial dose of allopurinol, and the HLA-B*5801 allele, which is more commonly found in Asians and Black patients. A prior study in Taiwan suggested that heart disease (ischemic heart disease and heart failure) may also be associated with an increased risk of hospitalizations for these cutaneous adverse reactions related to allopurinol. Thus, our goal was to investigate this association using a general population cohort from Canada. Using Population Data BC, we found that heart disease was in fact independently associated with an increased risk of hospitalization for these cutaneous adverse reactions. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, NIH, OBGYNE / 04.04.2019 Interview with: Jack A. Yanovski, MD, PhD Senior Investigator Section on Growth and Obesity, DIR, NICHD National Institutes of Health Hatfield Clinical Research Center Bethesda, MD 20892‐1103 What is the background for this study? Response: Studies of both mouse models and people suggest that obesity induced inflammation may promote insulin resistance and progression to diabetes. Others have proposed that suppressing this chronic, low level inflammation may slow the onset of diabetes. Nod-like Receptor Family Pyrin Domain Containing 3 (NLRP3) has recently been shown to play a strong role in promoting the inflammatory state in obesity. Colchicine, traditionally used to suppress or prevent inflammation in gout and other disorders is believed to inhibit formation of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Our group hypothesized that colchicine would improve obesity associated inflammation in adults with metabolic syndrome who had not yet developed type 2 diabetes. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Rheumatology / 30.08.2018 Interview with: Dr M Blagojevic-Bucknal Senior Lecturer in Statistics Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences Keele University Staffordshire UK What is the background for this study? Response: Evidence suggests that elevated serum uric acid levels, the cause of gout, are also frequently identified in patients with sleep apnoea However, despite prevalent hyperuricaemia in patients with sleep apnoea, shared risk factors with gout of obesity and alcohol consumption, and research identifying the associations between gout and other co-morbidities, few studies have considered the possibility of an association between sleep apnoea and gout in short and long term. (more…)
Author Interviews, Erectile Dysfunction, Gout / 27.11.2016 Interview with: Dr Edward Roddy Clinical Senior Lecturer in Rheumatology and Honorary Consultant Rheumatologist Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre Research Institute for Primary Care & Health Sciences Keele University Staffordshire UK What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Both gout and erectile dysfunction (ED) are prevalent in the general population, and share some common risk factors such as obesity, alcohol consumption and comorbidity (vascular disease, renal disease etc). We undertook a retrospective cohort study in UK Clinical Practice Research Database, a large longitudinal UK database of UK computerised primary care records, to quantify the risk of incident ED in men with gout. We found that men with gout had 30% greater risk of developing erectile dysfunction than men without gout, after adjusting for confounding variables such as lifestyle factors and comorbidity, although the absolute increased risk was small (0.6%). We did a further analyses including men who already had ED when they were diagnosed with gout, finding that they were also at increased risk of being diagnosed with ED in the year before they developed gout, suggesting that hyperuricaemia, which people can have for decades before developing gout, may be a key reason to explain the increased risk of erectile dysfunction in people with gout. Apparently, some people who make use of content on websites similar to to aid in alleviating their ED. (more…)
Author Interviews, Colon Cancer, Gout, NYU, Rheumatology / 20.11.2016 Interview with: Michael Pillinger, MD Professor of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology NYU School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: We are interested in the co-morbidities of gout and the fact that gout is accompanied by multiple cardiovascular, renal and other events. The implications of gout for cancer are less clear, but the basic biology suggests that either: 1) the acute and chronic inflammation of gout could contribute to a pro-cancer environment; 2) the anti-oxidant effects of urate could have anti-cancer properties; 3) the ability of uric acid to serve as a "danger signal" released from dying cells (potentially including cancer cells" could promote anti-cancer immunity. The clinical literature is murky at best. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Kidney Disease / 19.11.2016 Interview with: Gerald D. Levy MD Internal Medicine/Rheumatology Southern California Kaiser Permanente Downey, CA What are the main findings of your study? Patients with hyperuricemia and chronic kidney disease (CKD)  improve when serum Uric Acid (sUA) is brought below 6mg/dl with urate lowering therapy. We found a 6% improvement in this group compared to patients not at goal. More importantly the stage of CKD appears to be important with CKD II showing approximately 3% who improve with nearly 10% of patients improving in the CKD III group. We did not see benefit in those patients who are stage 4 CKD. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Kidney Disease, Pharmacology / 19.11.2016 Interview with: Dr. Ana Beatriz Vargas dos Santos Médica do Serviço de Reumatologia Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro What is the background for this study? Response: Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis worldwide and, despite available treatment, the management of gout remains suboptimal. One of the reasons for this suboptimal management of gout is the hesitant use of urate-lowering therapy, including a common reduction in dose or discontinuation of allopurinol in patients with gout who have kidney dysfunction based on the assumption that allopurinol may be worsening kidney function. However, there is no evidence that allopurinol is toxic for the kidneys, and this dose reduction or discontinuation results in more difficult-to-treat gout. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 3 or above occurs in approximately 20% of people with gout, and there is emerging evidence that urate-lowering therapy may improve kidney function in patients with both gout and CKD. Although CKD is common, most people with gout start out with normal kidney function. Yet, there are limited data regarding the effects of allopurinol on kidney function in such individuals. We, therefore, undertook this study to assess whether people with newly diagnosed gout who are starting allopurinol are at increased risk for developing CKD stage 3 or worse. (more…)
Author Interviews, Blood Pressure - Hypertension, Gout, Johns Hopkins, Nutrition, Rheumatology / 16.08.2016 Interview with: Stephen P. Juraschek, MD, PhD Fellow, Division of General Internal Medicine Johns Hopkins Hospital What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Diet has long been viewed as an important way to lower uric acid levels to prevent gout attacks; however, there is little evidence about whether a particular dietary pattern might be effective for lowering uric acid. For the first time we show that the DASH diet, an effective diet for lowering blood pressure, it lowers uric acid levels substantially in people with abnormally high uric acid levels. (more…)
Annals Internal Medicine, Author Interviews, Emergency Care, Gout, Pharmacology / 23.02.2016 Interview with: Professor Timothy H Rainer  MD MBBCh Director, Accident & Emergency Medicine Academic Unit The Chinese University of Hong Kong  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Rainer: Gout is a type of arthritis characterised by periodic attacks of acute joint swelling and severe pain, and  often treated with colchicine or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).  Two recent randomized, controlled trials showed that oral prednisolone, a corticosteroid, was as effective as NSAIDs in the treatment of acute gout, but these studies involved small numbers of patients.  The researchers investigatedwhether oral prednisolone was as effective and safe as indomethacin (a NSAID) in a larger sample of patients who had acute gout symptoms and who were seen in the emergency department (ED) setting. Patients in both the prednisolone and indomethacin groups had clinically meaningful decreases in their pain levels during the 2 hours they were observed in the ED as well as during the 14-day follow-up period. Both groups had a similar decrease in pain levels. No major adverse events were reported in either group although there were more minor adverse events in the indomethacin group. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Rheumatology / 10.11.2015 Interview with: Paras Karmacharya, MD Internal Medicine Reading Health System West Reading, PA 19611 Co-Authors: Ranjan Pathak MD, Madan Raj Aryal MD, Smith Giri MD, Anthony A Donato MD MHPE Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Studies describing seasonal variations in acute gouty arthritis note a seasonal trend, but disagree on timing, with most showing a peak in spring months while others showing peaks later in the year. However, serum uric acid (SUA) levels seem to peak in the summer months. This disparity has led to the hypothesis that the flares might be related to factors other than elevated serum uric acid levels. Various theories on the effects of weather and immune system changes on the chronobiology of the equilibrium and precipitation of monosodium urate crystals have been proposed. We aimed to shed light on this question by examining the seasonal variation in the incidence of acute gouty arthritis in the US using a large inpatient database. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database, a large national database that represents 20% of all hospital admissions, to identify adult patients with a primary diagnosis of acute gouty arthritis from 2009-2011 during their hospitalization. A total of 28,172 hospitalizations with primary diagnosis of acute gouty arthritis were reported from 2009-11. The peak incidence of acute gout was seen in the month of November (peak/low ratio 1.34, 95% CI 1.29-1.38, p<0.05) (Figure 1). The highest number of hospitalizations was observed in autumn months, while the lowest incidence was observed in spring (28.12% vs. 23.13%, p<0.001). Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Response: Unlike previous studies, our analysis found the peak incidence of acute gout in the fall with its peak in the month of November. Various environmental (temperature, humidity, diet, physical activity) and biochemical factors (low cortisol levels, high absolute neutrophil counts and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) have been implicated for the seasonal variation, but the data on this is conflicting. Whether our findings are reflective of purine and alcohol intake over the US holidays in November and December is a hypothesis that requires further testing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Mayo Clinic, Rheumatology / 26.03.2014

Tim Bongartz, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Department of Rheumatology Mayo Clinic, Interview with: Tim Bongartz, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine Department of Rheumatology Mayo Clinic, Minnesota What are the main study findings? Dr. Bongartz:  Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) is an imaging methods that has been in use for many years to classify the material of renal stones. Our study demonstrates that this technology can be useful in identifying monosodium urate deposits in and around joint, allowing to diagnose patients with gout with overall high sensitivity and specificity. Importantly, a stratified analysis of patient subgroups revealed that DECT is less accurate in diagnosing patients with a first flare of gout, emphasizing the importance of careful patient selection when using this new technology. In a "diagnostic-yield" substudy, we explored the question how much DECT could contribute to correctly diagnose patients where clinicians did have a high level of suspicion for gout, but synovial fluid aspiration results came back negative. In about a third of these patients with negative routine testing, we could confirm a diagnosis of gout through use of DECT. (more…)
General Medicine / 16.01.2014 Interview with: Weiya Zhang, BPH, MEpi, PhD Associate Professor & Reader Division of Rheumatology, Orthopaedics and Dermatology The University of Nottingham Clinical Sciences Building City Hospital Nottingham NG5 1PB What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Zhang: We found the prevalence and incidence of gout keep rising from 1997 to 2012, but the management (percentage of patients treated with the recommended effective drugs) remains poor. (more…)