Sleep apnea may increase the risk of developing gout, a new study shows.

Among 9865 patients with newly-diagnosed sleep apnea and 43,598 comparators of similar weight, investigators identified 270 new cases of gout over one year of follow-up, resulting in incidence rates of 8.4/1000 and 4.8/1000 person-years, respectively. The increased risk of gout was 60% higher among patients with sleep apnea.

"Since sleep apnea-associated hypoxia is treatable, our findings may have both important clinical and public health implications in the prevention and management of gout," said Dr. Yuqing Zhang, lead author of the Arthritis & Rheumatology study.

Study: Sleep Apnea and the Risk of Incident Gout: A Population-Based Body Mass Index-Matched Cohort Study, Yuqing Zhang, Christine Peloquin, Maureen Dubreuil, Edward Roddy, Na Lu, Tuhina Neogi and Hyon K. Choi, Arthritis & Rheumatology, doi: 10.1002/art.39330, published online 19 October 2015.