Gout: A risk factor for heart disease?

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Gout: Does it increase my risk of heart disease?


I have gout, and my doctor told me that elevated uric acid levels may increase the risk of heart attack. Is this true?



Yes, it is true. Gout is a painful form of arthritis that occurs when too much uric acid accumulates in a joint and causes inflammation. A growing body of evidence suggests that both high blood levels of uric acid and gout increase the risk of heart disease, including heart attack. The cause isn't clear.

One study of nearly 13,000 men, published in the journal "Arthritis & Rheumatism" in August 2006, compared the heart attack rates of men who had gout with men who did not. Results showed that 10 percent of men in the gout group had heart attacks, compared with 8 percent in the gout-free group — a small but important difference over a seven-year period. However, more research is needed to confirm this finding.

If you have elevated blood levels of uric acid, your doctor may recommend screening for other heart disease risk factors — as well as strategies for reducing those risk factors. Your doctor may also suggest steps for lowering your uric acid levels, including dietary changes and medication.

Last Updated: 09/01/2006
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