Can gout actually cause you a heart attack or stroke?
A new study published in this month’s Rheumatology Journal has concluded that a gout sufferer has a 50% increased probability of getting a heart attack or stroke in his or her lifetime. The study was conducted by the University of Oxford and utilized data from the National Health Service of England and the Office of National Statistics, again in England. What is incredible about this study is that it spanned five decades, tracking 205, 000 gout patients between 1963 and 2011! So there is a lot of meat in this study! The study also concluded that higher uric acid levels which cause gout in the first place also increases the risk factor of you getting a heart attack or stroke. This correlation is very strong and it must be taken very seriously by all gout sufferers in order to prevent unnecessary heart attacks and stroke.
What you also need to know beloved is that you can get a heart attack even if you are not obese, drink or have diabetes, the risk is still there. Gout is also considered the third largest risk factor of heart attack after smoking and family history of heart attack according to Dr. Eswar Krishnan of the University of Pittsburgh. His 2006 study can be found in the August 2006 issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism where Krishnan and his colleagues collected 6.5 years worth of data from 13,000 men nationwide in the US. His findings concluded a 26% increased probability of heart attack though.
What gout does, it contributes to unhealthy cholesterol and lipid levels and although they are essential for the normal functioning of cells, when certain amount of lipids are enlarged or deposited in blood vessel walls and this clogging leads to a heart attack or stroke.
Enter Professor Austin Stack and his findings on gout and death
Another doctor who believes that gout increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and death is Professor Austin Stack who performed a study in 2006 with the University of Limerick in Ireland. Over a 10 year period they examined 15,773 individuals and examined the correlation between gout and serum uric acid with mortality. What his study found was that people with gout had a 42% increased risk of dying earlier and the cause of death would most likely be dying from cardiovascular disease with a 58% higher risk of cardiovascular death! Pretty scary stuff! Furthermore, it seems that gout sufferers have more heart conditions and many more risk factors than those without the disease. In addition, those gout sufferers with the highest uric acid levels had a 77% higher risk from death from all causes and a whopping 209% increased risk of cardiovascular death than those gout sufferers with the lowest uric acid levels. What is interesting, is that higher uric acid levels were harmful to those who might be considered to live a healthy lifestyle (people who never smoked, drank and were physically active). What Professor Austin Stack recommends is that gout patients undergo proper cardiovascular screening in order to reduce death risk. Dear beloved, these findings cannot be ignored, regular cardiovascular screening is important because it helps you detect risk factors at the earliest stages. I strongly recommend you read this interview with Professor Austin Stack on his findings.
Gout and Heart Disease
Another study conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic analyzed the blood of patients who had undergone screening for their heart. After following the patients for three years, they focused on patients who had experienced either a heart attack, stroke or who had died and compared these patients with age and gender-matched controls. Without even knowing what they were looking for, the researchers discovered three compounds that were consistently present in the blood of those patients who had the cardiac events. Those three compounds were the following: trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), betaine, and choline. All three compounds were derived from the same metabolic pathway which is the breakdown of phosphatidyl choline, also known as lecithin. This is a nutrient found mostly in red meat, chicken, shellfish, organ meats, eggs and milk which all basically come from animal and/or animal products. What they also found was that the compound trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) had clear connection with heart disease risk through the development of atherosclerosis. The researchers also discovered that the more we eat of a particular food, the more we shift our gut flora in favour of those foods and by eating more meat or animal products we push our body to produce more TMAO which can lead to serious health consequences. In conclusion, animal fats, and red meat in particular, can be hard on our heart and on our uric acid levels. As you can see, high consumption of animal fats/meat cannot only lead to gout but even heart disease.
Posted by Spiro Koulouris