As we mentioned a while back on the blog, gout is associated with an increased risk of developing arterial fibrillation, or A-fib. However, that’s not the only way in which gout may affect your heart. New research out of Duke University found that the inflammatory joint condition may by linked to an increased risk of heart attack or stroke.
Gout is a very common foot condition, affecting more than eight million people in the United States. Researchers have been trying to understand the possible link between gout and heart conditions, so lead researcher Dr. Neha Pagidipata and her team tracked more than 17,000 patients with heart disease for a period of six years on average. At the study outset, 1,400 study participants had been diagnosed with gout.
After tracking patients and analyzing the data, researchers found that individuals with gout at any point in the study had a twofold risk of heart failure death compared to participants who had never developed gout.
Gout and Heart Disease
Doctors aren’t exactly sure why gout raises a person’s risk of having a deadly cardiovascular event, but they believe inflammation is to blame.
“We know that people who have a high level of inflammation are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease,” said. Dr. Pagidipata. “And we also know gout is characterized by periods of acute inflammation. The link may have to do with that.”
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops in your joints as a result of high levels or uric acid in the bloodstream. This causes pain and limited mobility in the affected joint, which is usually a person’s big toe joint. Uric acid crystallizes, which disturbs the joint and leads to inflammation. This inflammation appears to have a link to an increased risk of fatal cardiovascular events.
So if you are dealing with gout, don’t just assume you can ignore it because the pain is limited to your toe. Gout can contribute to problems with your overall health, and as this study proves, they can be serious. Dr. Silverman has helped a number of patients successfully treat their gout, and he can do the same for you. For more information about how he can help treat your gout, reach out to his clinic today at (952) 224-8500.