The effect of bariatric surgery on gout: a comparative study



      Obesity is a risk factor for the development of gout. An increased incidence of early gouty attacks after bariatric surgery has been reported, but the data is sparse. The effect of weight loss surgery on the behavior of gout beyond the immediate postoperative phase remains unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the pre- and postoperative frequency and features of gouty attacks in bariatric surgery patients.


      Charts were reviewed to identify patients who had gout before bariatric surgery. Demographic and gout-related parameters were recorded. The comparison group consisted of obese individuals with gout who underwent nonbariatric upper abdominal procedures.


      Ninety-nine morbidly obese patients who underwent bariatric surgery had gout. The comparison group consisted of 56 patients. The incidence of early gouty attack in the first month after surgery was significantly higher in the bariatric group than the nonbariatric group (17.5% versus 1.8%, P = .003). In the bariatric group, 23.8% of patients had at least one gouty attack during the 12-month period before surgery, which dropped to 8.0% during postoperative months 1–13 (P = .005). There was no significant difference in the number of gouty attacks in the comparison group before and after surgery (18.2% versus 11.1%, P = .33). There was a significant reduction in uric acid levels 13-months after bariatric surgery compared with baseline values (9.1±2.0 versus 5.6±2.5 mg/dL, P = .007).


      The frequency of early postoperative gout attacks after bariatric surgery is significantly higher than that of patients undergoing other procedures. However, the incidence decreases significantly after the first postoperative month up to 1 year.


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