Gout Increases Risk for Sjogren Syndrome in Older Adults

Photomicrograph of the salivary gland of a person with Sjögren’s syndrome, characterized by the abnormal migration of of lymphocytes T and B. Here only the lymphocytes B appear in green.
Gout was linked to a 1.7-fold increased risk for incident Sjogren syndrome in adults older than 65 years.

In older patients with gout, there is a 1.7-fold increase in risk for the incident of Sjogren syndrome compared with patients without gout, according to a study published in Joint Bone Spine.

Researchers analyzed Medicare claims from 2006 to 2012 to assess whether gout increased or decreased the risk for Sjogren syndrome in patients over the age of 65. Data on demographics, medication usage, comorbidities, gout, and Sjogren syndrome diagnosis were collected from the Medicare database.

Related Articles

Of the 1,736,901 patients in the cohort, 57.6% were women, 86.1% were white, and 3186 developed Sjogren syndrome. Patients who did develop Sjogren syndrome were more likely to be women, white, and to have a Charlson-Romano comorbidity score ≥2.

The multivariate-adjusted model indicated a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.73 (95% CI, 1.45-2.06; P <.0001) for developing Sjogren syndrome among patients with gout. Using the adjusted model, women with gout were 5 times more likely (HR, 5.02, 95% CI, 4.53-5.55; P <.0001) to develop Sjogren syndrome, patients with chronic pulmonary disease had an HR of 1.24 (95% CI, 1.13-1.36) for developing Sjogren syndrome, and patients with connective tissue disease had an HR of 7.71 (95% CI, 7.04-8.43) for developing Sjogren syndrome.

This study has some limitations including potential confounding bias due to the observational nature of the study and potential misclassification of diseases due to the use of diagnostic codes. Further research should analyze the specific mechanism of the relationship between gout and Sjogren syndrome.


Singh JA, Cleveland JD. The risk of Sjogren’s Syndrome in the older adults with gout: a Medicare claims study [published online February 7, 2019]. Joint Bone Spine. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2019.01.022