Women with gout at greater risk of heart attack than men

NEW YORK New research published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases indicate that women with a complex form of arthritis are more likely to experience a heart attack than men.

Researchers based their findings on a population study of more than 9,500 gout patients and 48,000 people without the disease, ages 65 years and older. All participants were drawn from the Canadian British Columbia Linked Health Database, which covers the entire province of British Columbia (population 4.5 million) and contains long term information on healthcare use.

The cardiovascular health of all the participants was tracked for an average of seven years, during which time 3,268 fatal and nonfatal heart attacks occurred. Of these, just under a third (996) were in women.

Compared with women who did not have gout, those who did were 39% more likely to have a heart attack of any kind and 41% more likely to have a nonfatal heart attack. Additionally, the risks were significantly higher among women than men, who were only 11% more likely than those without the disease to have a fatal or nonfatal heart attack.

Gout is typically caused by inflammation in the joints as a result of excess uric acid deposits.