Gout associated with higher diabetes risk

Gout - a form of arthritis that can cause chronic inflammation - is linked to an increased risk of diabetes, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.

Researchers found that women, especially, had a higher risk for developing diabetes when they had gout.

Using an electronic database that contained the health records of nearly 7.5 million patients in the UK, the researchers compared one individual with gout to every five people who did not have the condition, studying over 35,000 individuals who had gout.

Accounting for risk factors like gender, age, weight, BMI, smoking and alcohol consumption, the team found diabetes rates were significantly higher in gout patients than in comparison patients.

"Women were 71% more likely to develop diabetes if they had gout, whereas men were 22% more likely to do so," a press release on the study stated.

The authors note the study was merely observational, therefore no definitive conclusions can be made about the diabetes-gout connection.

One possible reason for the connection is that chronic, low-level inflammation seen in gout patients could cause the progression of diabetes.

Gout risk factors - like hypertension or excessive alcohol use - should be addressed and treated quickly, the authors said.

Source: Science Daily

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