Gout flare-ups are linked to heart attacks and strokes

Industry experts from the University of Nottingham, in conjunction with experts from Keele University, have found that the risk of heart attacks and strokes increases temporarily within four months of a gout flare.

Research has shown that gout patients who have suffered a gout flare heart attack or stroke were twice as likely to have had a gout flare in the 60 days before the event, and once and a half more likely to have a gout flare in the 61- 120 days before.

The results of the study, led by Professor Abhishek of the University of Nottingham Medical School, are published in the journal JAMA.

Gout is a common form of arthritis that affects an adult in 40 in the UK. It is caused by high levels of uric acid, a chemical produced by the breakdown of tissues in the body and found in certain foods and drinks.

At high levels, uric acid deposits in and around the joints as needle-shaped urate crystals. Once freed from their deposits, these crystals cause severe irritation manifesting as joint pain, swelling, redness and tenderness that often lasts 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 to find out if gout flares are linked to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke. In this study, the gurus examined whether there was a temporary increase in the risk of heart attack or stroke after a gout flare.

The team has used anonymized data from 61 574 gout patients treated by Nationwide Health Support in the UK. Of these, 15 475 suffered a heart attack or incident cerebrovascular disease after diagnosis of gout, while others of similar age, sex, and duration of gout have not experienced such events. They assessed the association between heart attacks or stroke mishaps and recent gout flares and adjusted these results for comorbidities, socioeconomic deprivation, lifestyle factors, and medications prescribed, among others. They found that gout patients who suffered a heart attack or stroke were twice as likely to have had a gout flare in the 60 days before the event, and one and a half times more likely to have a gout flare within 61 to 120 previous days. days.

They found a similar high rate of heart attack or stroke in the -60 and 61-62 days after gout flares compared to other time periods, when using information only from clients who presented for a gout flare and also had a heart attack or stroke. This further reinforced the finding that gout flares are associated with a transient increase in post-flare cardiovascular events. Increased odds and rates persisted when people with pre-existing heart disease or stroke prior to their diagnosis of gout were excluded, and when shorter periods of exposure such as -15 and 16-30 days before the heart attack or stroke, were taken into account.

Gout patients who died of a heart attack or stroke were more than four times more likely to experience a gout flare in the previous at 15 days and longer twice as many prospects to have a gout flare in 61 to 120 days

Professor Abhishek, lead author of the study, said: “This is the first study of its kind to examine whether there is an association between them recent gout flare-ups and heart attacks and stroke mishaps. had a significantly increased likelihood of a gout flare in the previous 120 days compared to clients who did not experience such events. These results suggest that gout flares are associated with a transient increase in post-flare cardiovascular events.

“People with recurrent gout flares should be considered for treatment with long term with urate lowering treatments such as allopurinol. This is a reliable way to remove urate crystal deposits and prevent gout attacks. Patients should also be considered for concomitant treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs such as colchicine for the first few months as urate-lowering treatments may trigger gout flares in the short term.

“People with gout should be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle with appropriate treatment of conditions such as high blood pressure , high cholesterol, obesity and diabetes to minimize their background risk of heart attack and stroke.”

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