PEOPLE with a common form of arthritis significantly increases the risk of a killer disease, les experts ont prévenu.
Arthritis affects millions of people in the UK, typically those who are older.
Gout is a form of arthritis whereby small crystals form inside and around the joints, causing agony.
It comes in sudden severe flares which can be triggered by an indulgent fatty meal or boozing.
An episode of gout typically lasts between five and seven days, starting with pain in the joints such as the toes, elbows and wrists.
But researchers have now found a more serious side effect that could occur for up to four months after gout.
L'étude, published in the journal JAMA, examined electronic health records of more than 62,000 patients with gout in England.
They found that, among this group, 10,475 patients went on to have a cardiovascular event.
Patients who suffered from a heart attack or stroke were almost twice as likely to have had a gout flare in the two months prior.
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They were one-and-a-half times more likely to have had a gout flare in the two to four months before the heart attack or stroke.
One to two people in every 100 in the UK are affected by gout, with the condition more common in men over 30 and women after the menopause.
It has already been found that the condition is linked to heart and circulatory diseases.
“This is the first study of its kind to examine whether there is an association between recent gout flares and heart attacks and strokes,” said Professor Abhishek Abhishek, University of Nottingham and lead author on the study.
“These findings suggest that gout flares are associated with a transient increase in cardiovascular events following flares.”
Prof Abhishek stressed the importance of giving uric acid-lowering treatment to those with repeated gout flares.
These medicines, which are prescribed on the NHS, remove uric from the blood, which drives the formation of the crystals in the joints.
Uric is a chemical produced by the breakdown of bodily tissues and is also found in certain foods and drink.
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Prof Abhishek said: “Patients should also be considered for concurrent treatment with anti-inflammatory medicines such as colchicine for the first few months because urate-lowering treatments may trigger gout flares in the short term.
“People with gout should be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle with appropriate treatment of conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity et diabetes to minimise their background risk of heart attack and stroke.”
What does gout feel like?
Symptoms of gout, according to the NHS are:
- Severe pain in one or more joints
- The joint feeling hot and very tender
- Swelling in and around the affected joint
- rouge, shiny skin over the affected joint
Any joint can be affected by gout, but it normally hits the toes, ankles, knees and fingers.
The symptoms develop rapidly over a few hours, and typically last for between three and 10 jours.
Gout is extremely painful, and can be debilitating.
After this time, the pain should pass and the joint return to normal – until the next attack.