In the journals
Gout flare-ups are trouble enough, but according to a study published Aug. 2, 2022, in JAMA, an episode may signal an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke over the following two months. Gout strikes when too much uric acid builds up in the body and gets deposited in one or more joints, causing severe joint pain, swelling, and redness.
Researchers looked at more than 62,000 people diagnosed with gout, 70% of whom were men (average age 77). They found that about 10,000 patients had experienced strokes or heart attacks within four months after a flare-up. The risk was greatest during the first 60 days and then gradually declined.
The results only showed an association, but other research has linked high uric acid levels with increased incidence of hypertension and diabetes, two leading contributors to heart attacks and strokes. While reducing high uric acid levels does not directly lower risk for a heart attack or stroke, an attack of gout does offer the opportunity to take steps to prevent these events as well as future gout flare-ups. This means making any necessary dietary and medicine changes to control gout and to ensure your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels are at healthy levels.
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