Gout is a common complication of blood pressure management and a frequently cited cause of medication nonadherence. Little trial evidence exists to inform antihypertensive selection with regard to gout risk.
The Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT) was a randomized clinical trial on the effects of first-step hypertension therapy with amlodipine, chlorthalidone, or lisinopril on fatal coronary heart disease or nonfatal myocardial infarction (1994–2002). Trial participants were linked to CMS and VA gout claims (ICD9 274.XX). We determined the effect of drug assignment on gout with Cox regression models. We also determined the adjusted association of self-reported atenolol use (ascertained at the 1-month visit for indications other than hypertension) with gout.
Claims were linked to 23 964 participants (mean age 69.8 ± 6.8 years, 45% women, 31% black). Atenolol use was reported by 928 participants at the 1-month visit. Over a mean follow-up of 4.9 years, we documented 597 gout claims. Amlodipine reduced the risk of gout by 37% (hazard ratio 0.63; 95% CI 0.51--0.78) compared with chlorthalidone and by 26% (hazard ratio 0.74; 95% CI 0.58--0.94) compared with lisinopril. Lisinopril nonsignificantly lowered gout risk compared with chlorthalidone (hazard ratio 0.85; 95% CI 0.70--1.03). Atenolol use was not associated with gout risk (adjusted hazard ratio 1.18; 95% CI 0.78--1.80). Gout risk reduction was primarily observed after 1 year of follow-up.
Amlodipine lowered long-term gout risk compared with lisinopril or chlorthalidone. This finding may be useful in cases where gout risk is a principal concern among patients being treated for hypertension.
This trial is registered at clinicaltrials.gov, number: NCT00000542.