Among elderly people in the United States, new allopurinol use was associated with a reduced risk for incident peripheral arterial disease, according to the results of a study published in Rheumatology.
Researchers evaluated new allopurinol use (n=26,985) among Medicare beneficiaries (n=25,282) from 2006 to 2012. They analyzed the association between allopurinol use, duration of use, and incident peripheral arterial disease.
After adjustment for demographics, comorbidities, cardiac medications, and cardiac conditions, allopurinol use was associated with a reduced risk for peripheral arterial disease (hazard ratio [HR] 0.88; 95% CI, 0.81-0.95). Similarly, female gender was associated with a lower risk for peripheral arterial disease (HR 0.84; 95% CI, 0.78-0.90).
Allopurinol use of 181 days to 2 years was associated with a lower risk for peripheral arterial disease compared with no allopurinol use (HR 0.88; 95% CI, 0.79-0.97) as was allopurinol use for >2 years (HR 0.75; 95% CI, 0.63-0.89).
After adjustment for cardiac conditions and medications, factors associated with an increased risk for peripheral arterial disease included age 75 to <85 years, age >85 years, higher Charlson index score, and black race.
The study authors concluded that “allopurinol use was independently associated with a lower risk of incident [peripheral arterial disease].” They added that, “mechanisms of this potential protective effect, that is, urate lowering vs anti-oxidative stress action, need to be examined in future prospective observational and randomized studies as well as using animal models.”
Singh JA, Cleveland J. Allopurinol and the risk of incident peripheral arterial disease in the elderly: a US Medicare claims data study [published online July 3, 2017]. Rheumatology (Oxford). doi:10.1093/rheumatology/kex232