Gout Linked to Heart Attacks

Gout used to be thought of as the disease of Kings, people like Henry VIII, who ate and drank too much.

NewsChannel 10's Laura Rojas tells us more on this disease common in men. 
Douglas Lienesh is a doctor who knows, better than most, what it takes to stay healthy. But he still had a bout with gout. A disease most common in men between 30 and 50.
"I awoke and had some mild pain in my left foot and fell back asleep and about two hours later I woke and I wasn't gonna fall back asleep again. I was having severe pain in my left foot to the point that I couldn't even stand on it." 

Gout is a type of arthritis that affects mostly men. It's caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood.

"It does potentially have health implications going forward more than just a sore toe."
"people thought it was just a nuissance; it's not even worth researching on. So there was not a whole lot of attention."

At the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Dr. Eswar Krishnan set out to solve a medical mystery...a long...suspected link between gout and heart attack.  "About 11-thousand men without gout and approximately 11-hundred men with gout were followed by annual visits."

The result? The first study to show that gout increases a man's risk of heart attack, even if he doesn't drink and isn't fat.

"It is very valuable for for individuals with gout and their doctors to keep this association in mind so every time they see a middle-aged man with a gout attack, with maybe a little bit of blood pressure, a little bit of cholesterol, take it very seriously and treat aggressively the known risk factors."

Always check with your physician to make sure a gout attack doesn't lead to something worse.

The study appeared in the August 2006 issue of the journal "Arthritis and Rheumatism."