Sleep disorders and gout in Australian adults

Julia New-Tolley, Amy C. Reynolds, Sarah L. Appleton, Tiffany K. Gill, Susan Lester, Robert J. Adams, Catherine L. Hill

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    Background: The aims of our study were two-fold. Firstly, to determine if there is an association between gout and OSA in a representative Australian adult population. Secondly, to explore associations between gout and patient reported sleep outcomes. Methods: A cross-sectional national online survey of a representative sample of Australian adults > 18 years assessed self-reported doctor-diagnosed OSA, insomnia and patient reported sleep outcomes. Possible undiagnosed OSA was estimated using self-reported frequent loud snoring and witnessed apnoeas. Participants self-reported physician-diagnosed gout and other health conditions. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed for both objectives. Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals were reported. Results: There were 1948 participants of whom 126 (6.5%) had gout and 124 (6.4%) had diagnosed sleep apnoea. After adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), sex, alcohol intake and the presence of arthritis, those with obstructive sleep apnoea diagnosed on polysomnography were twice as likely to report having gout compared to those without. (OR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.5–4.6). Additionally, participants with symptoms suggestive of sleep apnoea were also twice as likely to have gout compared to those without (OR = 2.8, 95%CI 1.6–5.1). There was also a higher likelihood of restless legs syndrome, insomnia and worry about sleep in patients with gout. Conclusion: Diagnosed and suspected OSA are associated with higher likelihood of gout. Participants with gout are also more likely to report suffering from restless legs syndrome, insomnia and worry about their sleep. Given the morbidity associated with sleep problems, we should be vigilant regarding sleep health in our patients with gout.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number30
    Number of pages7
    JournalBMC Rheumatology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2021


    • Gout
    • Sleep Apnoea, obstructive
    • Sleep disorders
    • Sleep hygiene


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