Gout’s association with a host of vascular events was confirmed in a new study that explored the links between the inflammatory condition and coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, and cerebrovascular events.
Though both men and women with gout were at increased risk for vascular events overall, the association appeared strongest for women. Dr. Lorna Clarson of Keele (England) University and her associates drew these conclusions from a retrospective cohort study of men and women with an incident diagnosis of gout.
Gout, caused by the deposition of uric acid crystals in joints, is characterized by acute flares of intensely painful and inflamed joints. However, the state of hyperuricemia that predisposes patients to acute attacks of gout may precede the first attack by years, and may persist between flares. The proinflammatory course of the natural history of gout has increasingly been recognized as a potential contributor to vascular disease.
The precise mechanism by which gout may increase vascular risk has not been identified. Dr. Clarson and associates noted that in addition to the acute and chronic inflammation associated with gout and hyperuricemia, serum uric acid may have a more direct effect on vascular health, as urate crystal deposition on vessel walls may promote vascular damage.
Source: Family Practice News