Will New Gout Findings Get a Toehold?06/12/13
WEDNESDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- The big toe is not the
biggest culprit in gout flare-ups, contrary to popular belief, a
new study reports.
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., found that
people with the highest risk of repeated cases of gout are those
whose gout first appears in other joints, such as the knee or
elbow, rather than in the joints of the big toe.
Gout is a painful form of arthritis caused by uric acid buildup
in the body. Continuing to take medication is essential to prevent
recurrences, the researchers said.
"Because patients often think that a gout flare-up means their medications are not working, they may stop medications like allopurinol. It is especially important for these patients to continue taking gout medication to prevent flare-ups," study co-author Dr. Eric Matteson, rheumatology chair, said in a Mayo news release.
The study was scheduled for presentation at the annual meeting
of the European League Against Rheumatism, June 12 to 15, in
Researchers followed 46 gout patients for about 13 years on
average. Their first gout attack occurred at an average age of
Mayo researchers presented other studies at the meeting. Among
- Black American lupus patients with certain autoantibodies
(anti-RNA-binding protein autoantibodies) have higher levels of
interferon, a protein involved in inflammation. The finding may
explain why black Americans have worse lupus than whites and could
lead to improved treatments, the researchers say.
- Rheumatoid arthritis patients have greater changes in their
systolic blood pressure (the top number of a blood pressure
measurement) from one health care visit to another than people
without the disease. That erratic blood pressure was linked to
heart disease, which means that doctors need to closely manage
heart disease risk in these patients.
- Another study may help explain why smoking doubles the risk of
developing rheumatoid arthritis. In people with a genetic
predisposition to a particular immune response, smoking triggers
immune cells called dendritic cells, the researchers found. Unlike
osteoarthritis, which is related to wear and tear, rheumatoid
arthritis is an autoimmune disorder, meaning the body attacks its
Data and conclusions presented at meetings are typically
considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical
The American College of Rheumatology has more about
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