Gout and Sex: Different, and Not So Good

June 19, 2014

(EULAR 2014) New research finds erectile dysfunction common among gout patients, and distinctive differences between men and women in predisposing factors and treatment risks.

Gout management needs to be tailored by gender, according to new research presented last week at the annual meeting of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) in Paris.

Women with gout are more likely than men to have metabolic-syndrome type comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, and kidney disease) and contraindications to NSAIDs and colchicine, according to data from the North American CORRONA registry, while predisposing dietary factors such as beer, hard liquor, and beef and pork are more frequent among men. While initial features of the disease were similar, women more frequently reported disability from gout, reported Leslie Harrold MD of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

A separate report of a single-institution study revealed a significantly greater prevalence of erectile dysfunction (ED) among men with gout (76%) than among others without gout (30%) visiting Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick NJ.

ED was significantly more common among men over 65 who had gout, and among those with tophi, reported rheumatologist Nancy Schesinger MD. Also, ED was more severe among men with gout than among others.

The association was significant independent of hypertension, low density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, and obesity, and diabetes.

ED may signal underlying cardiovascular disease, the researchers observe, urging that all men with gout should be screened for ED.