Got Gout? Your Risk for Heart Disease Just Doubled [new study]

Gout and Heart Disease Risk

A new study from Duke University shows that those who suffer from gout have a significantly increased risk of heart disease.

What causes gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid in the blood stream. Uric acid is a natural product of normal food digestion. The kidneys are tasked with eliminating uric acid, but some people’s kidneys just aren’t up to the job. Other folks simply produce too much uric acid, due to factors such as hypertension, obesity, and diabetes.

Diet can be a factor in developing gout

Gout was once called the disease of kings, because it was associated with menus only royalty could afford, like fatty red meat, organ meats, shellfish, fine wines, and lots of liquor.

What happens with excess uric acid in the body?

Gout and Risk of Heart DiseaseThe excess uric acid precipitates into needle sharp crystals which usually collect in the joint where the big toe meets the foot. Why there? Well, uric acid solidifies at lower temperatures, and your body’s lowest temperatures are usually in the parts of your body furthest away from the heart, like the feet.

Gout can be excruciatingly painful. The big toe joint will swell, turn red, feel warm, and even the slightest touch can be agonizing. Fortunately, most gout attacks are sporadic and relatively infrequent.

Recent research confirms links between gout, heart disease, and strokes

The new study from Duke University focused on over 17,000 cardiovascular patients, of whom 1406 had gout at the start of the study. The researchers followed the patients for an average of 6.4 years. Even though the patients with gout received aggressive modern therapy, their risk of incurring heart disease or a stroke was increased by 15%, as compared to those patients who never developed gout.

The risk of death from heart failure was doubled among those who had gout at the beginning of the study or developed it during the course of the study (compared to those who never had gout).

Awareness of the connections between gout and heart problems is not new. Earlier studies from Spain and Oxford University in England showed that gout is somehow associated with cardiovascular disease (as well as kidney disease, diabetes, cancer, and sleep apnea).

But Dr.Neha Pagidipati, a professor at Duke’s School of Medicine and the lead author of the new study, said, “We wanted to take a more contemporary look at the relationship between gout and future heart disease in patients with known coronary artery disease.”

Dr. Jasvander Singh, the Director of the Gout Clinic at the University of Alabama, who was not involved in the study, said the new research may alert the public to the need to correlate gout and heart disease. “Gout is not just a disease of the joints; it’s a disease that causes inflammation in the joints and in the body. It’s not just a pain in the toe, it affects other organs, too, including the heart.”, said Singh.

The precise connection between gout and heart disease is still not entirely clear. Both Pagidipati and Singh mention the acute inflammation that accompanies gout as a likely cause of heart disease in gout patients.

According to Pagidipati, most patients have no idea there’s an association between gout and heart disease. The new information should cause gout patients to talk with their doctors about their cardiovascular condition, and lead doctors treating gout patients to closely monitor the coronary and cardiovascular condition of their patients.

The doctors at UFAI are experts in treating gout

Diagnosing Gout If you are experiencing problems with gout and your feet, the doctors at University Foot and Ankle are here to help. Using the latest technologies available, many of which we helped develop, we can accurately diagnose and treat your gout and the painful symptoms that accompany gout attacks.

Our nationally recognized podiatrists and foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced foot and ankle care along with the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the field of research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

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