No Link Found Between Gout and Risk of Broken Bones

gout broken bones

New research has found that people with gout, the painful inflammatory arthritis condition, do not have an increased risk of suffering from broken bones.

Findings from a large-scale UK study are in contradiction to previous studies, which have claimed there is a link between gout and fracture risk.

Inflammatory arthritis

Gout is a common type of inflammatory arthritis. It is caused when the body is unable to flush out excess uric acid or urate, which is produced by cells in the body and the breakdown of food. A build-up of urate leads to crystals forming, which causes sudden, painful inflammation of the lining of the joints.

Gout affects 2.5% of adults in the UK and is more common in men than in women. 

Bone loss

People with other types of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, are known to be at increased risk of osteoporosis (a condition that weakens the bones) and accelerated bone loss, and are more likely to break bones if they fall. 

Previous studies have demonstrated a link between gout and an increased risk of fracturing bones. For example, a US study from 2016 found the incidence of fractures was nearly 1.23-fold greater in people with gout than in those without gout.

No link

However, this new study led by researchers based at Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre at Keele University refutes this link.

This new research aimed to clarify whether gout increases fracture risk in the same way that other forms of inflammatory arthritis do.

The researchers analysed data about more than 30,000 people with gout for between six and 13 years. They compared these people with more than 120,000 people without gout.

The analysis found no difference between the likelihood of either group having a broken bone. They also found that the mediation that is used to treat gout does not put people at an increased risk of broken bones either.


The authors of this study claim that previous studies have provided conflicting results about the link, and that the large number of people studied in this current research demonstrates that there isn’t in fact a link.

Dr Devi Sagar from Arthritis Research UK said: “A study of this magnitude can offer reassurance to people living with gout who might be worried about complications like fractures.”

This article was written by a third party source and does not reflect the views or opinions of Ramsay Health Care unless explicitly stated.

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