Women who have gout have a greater heart attack risk than men with gout, according to research published ahead of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, from a study conducted in British Columbia, released in a press release on February 7, 2010.
Gout increases the risk of heart attack in men, but little has been known about the impact that gout can have on women’s cardiovascular health. This study indicates that women with gout should consult a doctor about heart health.
Researchers followed 9.500 gout patients and 48,000 people who did not have gout. The study participants were aged 65 and older. In the seven year study researches found that women who had gout were 39%-41% more likely to have a heart attack then men with gout. The results were much higher compared to men. Men with gout were only 11% more likely than the non-gout subjects to have a fatal or non-fatal heart attack.
Gout is a common form of arthritis, caused by inflammation in the joints because of excess uric acid deposits. Inflammation is part of a process that results in blood clots that can cause heart attack and stroke.
Uric acid is a by product of substances called purines. Conditions that can start the development of gout include weight gain, obesity, high alcohol intake, poor kidney function and certain drugs.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), gout occurs with uric acid build up in the blood. This buildup happens when you eat to many foods with purines or the body is not eliminating enough . Purine containing foods include liver dried beans. You are more likely to get gout is you are a male, have a family member with gout and/or you drink alcohol.
Gout usually develops over a number of years and attacks worsen over time. Left untreated, gout can cause permanent damage to the joints and kidneys.
According to WebMD the symptoms of gout include swelling, warmth, pain and tenderness in a joint. The big toe joint is especially prone to gout pain. Pain often starts at night and is so intense that even the light pressure of a sheet is intolerable. As the joint pain subsides, the skin around the join may start to itch. By the time gout symptoms appear the uric acid has probably been building up in the system for a long time.
A physician can treat the symptoms of gout with medication. If you experience the symptoms of gout, please see a physician. Gout can cause pain and permanent damage to the joint and kidneys, as well as increasing the risk of heart attack.
Information in this article is not intended as medical advice. If you have questions about a medical condition, please consult a doctor.
EurekAlert: BMI – British Medical Journal; Women with gout at greater risk of heart attack 7-Feb-2010
WebMD Gout Symptoms
National Institute of Health
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