A new study released this month shows that women with gout have a much higher risk of having a heart attack (acute myocardial infarction) then previously thought. It’s been long known that women with gout are at higher risk of heart attack then men, however, this new study that looked at the history of over 50,000 people shows that the risk is significantly higher than previously thought. Women with gout are 39% more likely to have a heart attack then women without gout. However, men only showed an 11% increase in this study.
The authors of this study speculate that this is due to men having higher levels of uric acid in their bodies throughout life than women. Women’s uric acid levels tend to stay low only to rise suddenly at menopause. As a result, it is believed that men develop more of a tolerance to the effects of high uric acid. However, the difference may also be due to the fact that women tend to receive a gout diagnosis much later then men and are often treated with different medications and at different doses. This is do to the incorrect belief, held by many primary care physicians, that gout is a “men’s disease”.
Regardless of the reason, women with gout, or even women that have passed menopause and have a family history of gout should take note. Controlling uric acid levels with medication is the best way to reduce the risk.
See also: Gout in Women
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