Gout modestly increases AF risk: study

A new study adds weight to a link between gout and an increased risk of atrial fibrillation.

The population based cohort study of over 280,000 people found that after adjusting for traditional risk factors people with gout had a 13% increased risk of AF compared to people with osteoarthritis and a 21% greater risk compared to people without gout.

The causal relationship between gout and AF is yet to be determined but could be through two distinct, yet possibly related mechanisms – inflammation and hyperuricaemia, the researchers suggested.

“While the magnitude of the association between gout and AF is small, it may still have an important impact on the gout population as AF is the most common arrhythmia with substantial consequences such as stroke and heart failure,” wrote the authors led by Daniel Solomon from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Several studies had shown that the commonly used gout drug colchicine lowered the risk of AF and was worth exploring in primary and secondary prevention in this patient population, they said.

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