Research Article: The association between gout and cataract risk: A meta-analysis

Date Published: June 29, 2017

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Chenqi Luo, Xinyi Chen, Hongchuan Jin, Ke Yao, Yong-Bin Yan.


To evaluate the relationship between gout and age-related cataracts (ARCs).

A comprehensive literature search of the PubMed and Web of Science databases was conducted to identify papers on the association between gout and cataract risk that had been published between February 1991 and January 2017. Pooled relative risks (RRs) or odds ratios (ORs) and their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated. The random-effects model was used instead of the fixed-effects model when heterogeneity was identified, as indicated by a Cochran’s Q statistic P-value <0.10 or I2 index score >50%.

A total of 3 cross-sectional studies and 3 case-control studies were included in the meta-analysis. Gout was significantly associated with increased odds of ARCs (OR 1.53, 95% CI 1.27–1.84). In the subgroup analysis, gout exhibited positive associations with the odds of posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSCs, OR 1.69, 95% CI: 1.06–2.70) and cortical cataracts (CCs, OR 1.39, 95% CI: 1.06–1.81). However, no association was identified between gout and the odds of nuclear cataracts.

The current literature suggested that gout may be associated with increased odds of ARCs, especially PSCs and CCs. Further efforts should be made to confirm these findings and clarify the effect of gout and gout medications on the development of cataracts.

Partial Text

Cataracts are a major cause of visual impairment and blindness in older adults worldwide [1]. With the rapidly aging population, cataracts are becoming a significant social problem in the global context. In addition to advancing age, other factors that have been reported to increase the risk of cataracts include sunlight exposure, alcohol consumption, smoking and some medications [2, 3].

Our meta-analysis showed that gout was associated with increased odds of ARCs in cross-sectional studies and case-control studies. A positive association was also identified in the analyses stratified by type of cataract (cortical cataracts (CCs) or posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSCs)). However, no association was observed between gout and nuclear cataracts in the included cross-sectional and case-control studies.

In our meta-analysis of cross-sectional and case-control studies, we summarized risk estimates for the association between gout and ARCs, especially CCs and PSCs, and provided robust evidence of this association. These data may help to resolve some of the inconsistencies in the relationship between gout and the odds of ARCs, and future research is needed to confirm these findings.




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