If you suffer from gout, you may also be at increased risk for heart disease. This is because the inflammation that causes gout can also affect your heart and blood vessels. Additionally, people with gout often have co-existing conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes, which also increases the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke.
The New Study
Now, new research has found that the danger might be especially great in the months following a gout flare. This means that it is important to be extra vigilant about your heart health if you have this condition.
We all know that gout is a type of arthritis, but did you know that it can also be a sign of inflammation throughout the entire body? A new study published in JAMA shows that gout patients are more likely to have a serious cardiovascular event, like a heart attack or stroke.
Researchers analyzed data from health records of more than 62,000 gout patients and found that those who had gout flares were more likely to experience a cardiovascular event. This is especially true for younger patients – so if you’re experiencing gout flares, be sure to talk to your doctor about your risk factors.
Two Groups, One Outcome
For the purpose of this study, researchers compared the incidence of gout flares in two groups of patients – those who had experienced a serious cardiovascular event, and those who had not. The study population included over 10,000 newly-diagnosed gout patients who had experienced a cardiovascular event, and more than 52,000 who had not. After adjusting for age, sex, and time since diagnosis, the researchers found that those who had experienced a cardiovascular event were 2% more likely to have a gout flare during the 60 days prior to the event, compared to 1.4% for those who did not have a cardiovascular event.
The researchers found that gout flares were associated with a slightly increased risk of cardiovascular events in the 61 to 120 days following the flare. They concluded that these findings suggest that gout flares may be associated with a transient increase in cardiovascular events after the flare.
The Importance of Lifestyle Changes
They also advised clinicians to “emphasize the importance of optimizing lifestyle measures and standard risk factor control, including adherence to diet, statins, anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin, colchicine), smoking cessation, diabetic and blood pressure control, and [blood thinning] medications as indicated,” though they added that “the incremental risk [of a cardiovascular event] after a gout flare was small.”
This study raises the possibility that a gout flare may increase the likelihood of such events without proving that a flare directly causes a heart attack or stroke. An increase in inflammation may cause plaque in the arteries to break off, which may result in a heart attack or a stroke (if it prevents blood flow to the brain) (if it blocks blood flow to the heart). Inflammation brought on by gout may also lead to irregular heartbeat.
A heart attack or stroke may be imminent or at danger of happening as a result of a gout flare. Working with your doctor to prevent gout flare-ups and following preventative measures may result in protecting your tick