University Of Tasmania

File(s) under permanent embargo

Medication adherence among gout patients initiated allopurinol: a retrospective cohort study in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD)

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-20, 20:17 authored by Elisabeth ScheepersElisabeth Scheepers, Burden, AM, Arts, ICW, Spaetgens, B, Souverein, P, de Vries, F, Boonen, A

Objectives: When urate lowering therapy is indicated in patients with gout, medication adherence is essential. This study assesses non-persistence and non-adherence in patients with newly diagnosed gout, and identifies factors associated with poor medication adherence.

Methods: A retrospective data analysis was performed within the UK Clinical Practice Research Datalink (1987-2014) among incident gout patients, aged ⩾40 years and starting allopurinol (n = 48 280). The proportion of patients non-persistent (a first medication gap of ⩾90 days) after 1 and 5 years, and median time until a first 90-day gap was estimated using Kaplan-Meier statistics in those starting allopurinol and restarting after a first interruption. Non-adherence (proportion of days covered <80%) over the full observation period was calculated. Multivariable Cox- or logistic regressions assessed factors associated with non-persistence or non-adherence, respectively.

Results: Non-persistence increased from 38.5% (95% CI: 38.1, 38.9) to 56.9% (95% CI: 56.4, 57.4) after 1 and 5 years of initiation. Median time until a first 90-day gap was 1029 days (95% CI: 988, 1078) and 61% were non-adherent. After a first gap, 43.3% (95% CI: 42.7, 43.9) restarted therapy within 1 year, yet only 52.3% (95% CI: 51.4, 53.1) persisted for 1 year. Being female and a current smoker increased the risk for non-persistence and non-adherence, while older age, overweight, receiving anti-hypertensive medication or colchicine and suffering from dementia, diabetes or dyslipidaemia decreased the risk.

Conclusion: Medication adherence among gout patients starting allopurinol is poor, particularly among females and younger patients and patients with fewer comorbidities. Medication adherence remains low in those reinitiating after a first gap.


Publication title











Menzies Institute for Medical Research


Oxford Univ Press

Place of publication

Great Clarendon St, Oxford, England, Ox2 6Dp

Rights statement

Copyright The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Rheumatology. All rights reserved.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Treatment of human diseases and conditions; Primary care; Behaviour and health