Flare-ups of gout are linked to heart attack and stroke
Experts at the University of Nottingham, in collaboration with experts at Keele University, have found that the risk of heart attacks and strokes temporarily increases in the four months after a gout flare.
The research showed that gout patients who suffered from a heart attack or stroke were twice as likely to have had a gout flare in the 60 days prior to the event, and one and a half times more likely to have a gout flare in the 61-120 days prior.
The results of the study, led by Professor Abhishek in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham, are published in the journal JAMA.
Gout is a common form of arthritis that affects one in 40 adults in the UK. It is caused by high levels of uric acid, a chemical produced by breakdown of tissues in the body and present in certain foods and drinks.
At high levels, uric acid is deposited in and around joints as needle shaped urate crystals. Once released from their deposits, these crystals cause severe inflammation manifesting as joint pain, swelling, redness, and tenderness that often lasts for 1-2 weeks. These episodes, called gout flares, often recur. Inflammation is also a risk factor for heart attack and stroke.
People with gout tend to have more cardiovascular risk factors, although there have been no previous studies about whether gout flares are linked with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In this study, the experts examined whether there was a temporary increase in risk of heart attack or stroke after a gout flare.
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