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

Among 9,865 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,” says Dr Yuqing Zhang, lead author of the Arthritis & Rheumatology study.