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Sleep Apnea and gout flares

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Sleep apnea and gout flares

A new study has revealed that sleep apnea (characterized by loud snoring) can increase the risk of developing gout and flare-ups. Sleep apnea causes periods of oxygen deprivation during the night as the person stops breathing, and this triggers overproduction of uric acid in the bloodstream. If untreated, sleep apnea can also increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and heart failure, among other conditions.

According to the lead author of the study, Yuqing Zhang of Boston University Clinical Epidemiology Research and Training Unit, “Obesity plays an important role in both sleep apnea and gout, but sleep apnea still increased the risk for gout even when weight was accounted for.”

Details of the study

The researchers used data from almost 10,000 people with a new diagnosis of sleep apnea from a U.K. database and compared it with data from more than 40,000 people of similar sex, age, birth year and body composition, but without sleep apnea.

Over a one-year period, there were 270 cases of gout, 76 in the sleep apnea group and 194 in the larger comparison group. Gout was diagnosed at an average age of 60. And according to the analysis, gout was almost twice as common in the sleep apnea group as in the comparison group.

“Although obesity increases the risk for sleep apnea, some thin people have sleep apnea, too, and even in these people the risk of gout was increased by 80 percent. The next step is to test whether treating sleep apnea also reduces the risk for gout, which seems likely… Some studies show that if you get treatment, your uric acid may go down,” Zhang said.

Treating sleep apnea

Sleep apnea can be treated with lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or wearing mouthpieces or breathing devices at night, or with surgery.

Dr. Robert Thomas Keenan of Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina, who was not part of the new study, says that though “gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in the western world, it takes years for uric acid crystals to accumulate in the joints and lead to an eventual gout flare. So sleep apnea may not “cause” the gout, but can create a more ideal environment for a flare up”.

“Sleep apnea and gout risks can be reduced in many people by losing weight if they are overweight, eating healthy and indulging in alcohol and red meats in moderation,” says Dr. Keenan.

#Gout #Arthritis #JointPain #UricAcid #HealthyDiet #SleepApnea

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This web site is run by an Arthritis Specialist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On this site you will find news about the latest in arthritis, information about research results in the field, tips and information and diet and exercise, and much more.

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