According to a recent clinical study, gout has been found to be an independent, but significant, risk factor in the development of a myocardial infarction. Basically, a person who has gout also has a higher risk of heart attack. Incredibly, this is true even in younger gout patients with no other cardiovascular risk factors. Researchers published these findings in a recent edition of Rheumatology.
According to the Framingham clinical study, medical researchers found that gout patients have a 60% higher risk for coronary artery disease. Researchers did note in their results that gout can sometimes occur in conjunction with other risk factors for myocardial infarction (MI). It is also important to note that this and other related gout clinical studies have been primarily focused on older patients or those that are at high risk of cardiovascular disease in general.
In this recent clinical trial, the gout patients that were studied had a higher baseline risk of developing hypertension, diabetes, and coronary heart disease than people without gout. According to a 9 year follow-up period of some 704,503 patients aged 20 or older, researchers found that the incidence of MI among the gout patients was 2.20 per 1000 patient-years. Compared to the MI incidence of 0.60 per 1000 patient-years in the control group, one can see that the difference is quite significant.
The researchers found that these patients’ had a hazard ratio (HR) of 1.23 for the association of gout with MI (HR is adjusted for age, gender, and metabolic syndrome and CV risk factors). With some additional analysis, researchers confirmed that the increased risk was present in all age groups as well as for patients with no cardiovascular risk factors for both nonfatal MI (HR of 1.80) and overall MI (HR of 1.84). The results also showed that the overall MI risk was slightly higher for male gout patients than for female gout patients.
Interestingly, when comparing the risk for fatal MI between those diagnosed with gout and those who didn’t have it, researchers found that the overall risk was rather similar. The investigators noted in their analysis, that they decided not to include the mortality rate attributable to the first heart attack or MI-related deaths that occurred before a patient was ever hospitalized.
Recently, Shue-Fen Luo of the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Guishan Township, Taiwan and her colleagues conducted an analysis of 704,503 patients aged 20 and older who had no history of any myocardial infarctions. Shue was able to attain this information from the Taiwan National Health Insurance database. According to her analysis, 26,556, out of the 704,503, had been diagnosed with gout, and about 70% were men. Luo and her colleagues have concluded that the results they found provide strong evidence for the hypothesis that gout can have a significant impact on one’s risk of myocardial infarction starting at an early stage.