WebMD Medical News
Louise Chang, MD
Feb. 8, 2010 -- Women with gout may be at greater risk of suffering a heart
attack than men with gout.
A new study shows that women with gout were 39% more likely to have a heart
attack than women without the disease. In comparison, men with gout were 11%
more likely to have a heart attack than healthy men.
Researchers say gout is known to increase the risk of heart attack in men,
but until now little was known about the heart risk in women.
Gout is a common and painful form of arthritis that affects up to 6% of
elderly women and 9% of elderly men. It is caused by inflammation in the joints
that occurs as a result of excess uric acid-related crystal deposits.
In the study, published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases,
researchers compared the rates of heart attacks among 9,642 Canadian men and
women over 65 with gout and 48,210 healthy adults of the same age.
Over about seven years of follow-up, 3,268 heart attacks, including 996
heart attacks among women, were reported. The results showed that compared to
women without gout, women with the disease were 39% more likely to have a heart
attack and 41% more likely to have a nonfatal heart attack.
This increased risk of heart attack among women with gout held true after
researchers adjusted for other underlying health problems associated with heart
risk (such as high blood pressure and diabetes) and their use of prescription
The heart attack risks among women were significantly higher than those
found among men with gout, who were 11% more likely to have any heart attack or
nonfatal heart attack.
Researcher Mary A. De Vera, of the Arthritis Research Centre of Canada in
Vancouver, and colleagues say the excess uric acid associated with gout may
increase inflammation and platelet stickiness, which are both implicated in
SOURCES:De Vera, M. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Feb. 8, 2010, online
first edition.News release, BMJ.WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Gout: Changing
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