06/03/2008 - News

Gout Increases Risk of Heart Disease Mortality

By: June Chen, MD

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Gout is condition characterized by high levels of uric acid in the blood and deposition of monosodium crystals in the joints and tissues, which can cause pain and swelling. According to a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, middle-aged men with gout and elevated uric acid levels have an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease .

Prior studies have suggested that there was a link between gout and non-fatal heart attacks or coronary heart disease. In this study, investigators performed a 17-year follow-up of 9105 men, aged 41 to 63, who had an above-average risk for coronary heart disease but no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease. Of these men, 3998 had elevated uric acid levels and 655 had gout. They found that men with gout had an approximately 30% higher risk for death from cardiovascular disease, even after adjusting for traditional risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, men with high levels of uric acid in the blood, but no diagnosis of gout, did not have an increased risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease.

This study suggests that gout is an independent risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease, but it is not known how to modify this risk. Additional research is needed to understand exactly how gout contributes to cardiovascular mortality before efforts can be made to reduce this risk.

Source

Arch Intern Med. 2008;168:1104-1110.

Created on: 06/03/2008
Reviewed on: 06/03/2008

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