SGLT2 Inhibitor Could Reduce Gout Risk in Type 2 Diabetes Patients

Type-2 diabetes is a somewhat common condition that is typically treatable or, rather, a disease that is mostly easy to moderate.  However, type-2 diabetes still carries some major health risks in the long run, particularly an inflammatory condition known as gout.

Michael Fralick, MD, Phd, of Sinai Health Systems explains, “Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis and adults with diabetes are at particularly high risk.”

As you might imagine, of course, treating type-2 diabetes could reduce risk for gout, but a new study says that specifically lowering sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) could be the answer.  When compared against those using a new glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP1) receptor agonist,  the study found that those taking an SGLT2 inhibitor had a 36 percent lower risk for developing gout.  

Fralick, thus, goes on to say, “Identifying medications that reduce this risk is important, especially since one commonly used medication for gout—febuxostat [Uloric]–was recently found to increase a person’s risk of death.”

In the study, the research team analyzed data from insurance claims that appear in a national database.  Between 2013 and 2017, the database listed approximately 300,000 adults with type-2 diabetes.  Of this number 152,000 had been recently prescribed an SGLT2 inhibitor while 144,000 had recently been prescribed a GLP1 receptor agonist.  

Fralick comments, “We were surprised to see that SGLT2 inhibitors were associated with such a large reduction in the risk of gout,” adding that the new findings provide a “proof-of-principle that this class of medications might reduce the risk of gout in adults with diabetes.”

Essentially, then, the study concludes: “SGLT2 inhibitors are one of the most effective classes of medications for adults with diabetes. Our study suggests they may have the added benefit of reducing the risk of gout.”

It is important, however, to note that the study did have one limitation.  Basically, there is not much data on relevant gout risk factors—including things like diet and body mass index—so it may be prudent to continue this research as more data becomes available.