Gout Patients at Higher Risk of Developing Life-Threatening Blood Clot
An Arthritis Research Canada study has revealed that people with gout (the most common inflammatory arthritis in men) are more likely to develop venous thromboembolism (VTE) – a blood clot that starts in a vein and can travel to the lungs (pulmonary embolism or PE) and deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a blood clot in the leg veins.
“These are serious cardiovascular events associated with increased mortality,” said Dr. Antonio Aviña-Zubieta, a senior scientist of rheumatology at Arthritis Research Canada and the study’s lead researcher.
In this study, researchers assessed the risk of VTE, PE and DVT in patients with newly diagnosed gout and found that people with the disease have a higher risk of the three conditions than the general population without gout.
Compared to the general population, the risk of VTE, PE and DVT increased both before (51%, 47%, and 55%) and after the diagnosis of gout (22%, 28%, and 16%), respectively.
The research also revealed that the risk increases gradually even before the gout diagnosis, peaks in the year prior, and then progressively declines. It is believed that gout associated inflammation before and after diagnosis might be a contributing factor for VTE.
Previous studies reported the increased risk of VTE, PE, and DVT in some types of inflammatory arthritis, like rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and ankylosing spondylitis, but not gout. This is the largest population-based study to demonstrate that patients with gout have an increased risk of VTE, DVT and PE after a gout diagnosis compared with the general population.
“The findings call for awareness and vigilance for VTE risk assessment in patients with gout in order to prevent the life-threatening condition,” Dr. Aviña-Zubieta said. “It is also important for patients and clinicians to adhere to treatment guidelines under the assumption that this will decrease the risk of gout flares and, thus, VTE.”
To read the study, titled “Trends of Venous Thromboembolism Risk Before and After Diagnosis of Gout: A General Population-Based Study,” please click here: https://doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez398.
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