Gout & Cardiovascular Health
Studies have shown a strong correspondence between gouty arthritis and cardiovascular issues. Those who suffer from gout are more likely to have unhealthy cholesterol and lipid levels and, conversely, those who have high lipid levels and high triglycerides are more likely to develop gout.
Hyperuricemia has been linked with an increased risk for acute myocardial infarction (MI) – with gout patients approximately twice as likely to develop a heart attack or stroke compared with those who do not have gout.
Additionally, hyperuricemia has been found to increase a patient’s risk of experiencing coronary artery disease or cerebrovascular disease. Those with hyperuricemia are also at an increased risk for cardiovascular mortality.
Encourage Patients to Minimize Risk for Gout and Protect their Cardiovascular Health
Maintaining a healthy serum uric acid level of 6 mg/dL or below is vital to minimizing a patient’s risk for gout and cardiovascular disease. Encourage your patients to get their serum uric acid tested every six months, and also measure their cholesterol and blood pressure.
While gout is growing in prevalence, just 10 percent of gout patients are getting the ongoing treatment that they need. It is important to educate patients about the importance of routine sUA monitoring – and the consequences for not properly managing their gout and cardiovascular health. This includes making sure they are taking steps such as taking medications as prescribed; exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy body weight; and staying hydrated to flush their kidneys and help to remove uric acid from the bloodstream.