For the new studies, researchers reviewed the records of about 2,000 men with gout in a Veterans Administration database. None had diabetes or kidney disease at the start of the study.Over a three-year period, 9% of men with gout who had uncontrolled uric acid levels developed diabetes, compared with 6% of those whose uric levels were under control.After taking into account other risk factors for diabetes, this corresponded to a 19% higher risk of diabetes in those with uncontrolled uric acid levels.A blood uric acid level greater than 7 is considered uncontrolled.
Risk of Diabetes and Kidney Disease
The risk for an individual person might not be much. But the National Institutes of Health estimates that 6 million U.S. adults have had gout at some point in their lives, many with uncontrolled uric acid levels. That translates to tens of thousands of people at risk of diabetes and kidney disease, Matteson says.A second study, conducted by the same researchers using the same database, showed that over a three-year period men with gout who had uncontrolled uric acid levels had a 40% greater risk of kidney disease compared to men with controlled uric acid levels.