Posted by Sharon Theimer (@stheimer) · Jun 6, 2013
Mayo Clinic: Big Toe Isn't Biggest Culprit in Gout Flare-Ups; Other Joints Tied to Higher Risk
MADRID — The painful rheumatic condition gout is often associated with the big toe, but it turns out that patients at highest risk of further flare-ups are those whose gout first involved other joints, such as a knee or elbow, Mayo Clinic has found. The study is among several that Mayo researchers are presenting in Madrid at the European League Against Rheumatism's annual meeting. In other findings, Mayo discovered a clue to why lupus tends to be worse in African-Americans; chronicled erratic blood pressure in rheumatoid arthritis patients; found gout-like deposits in the joints of people with advanced osteoarthritis and examined why smoking doubles the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
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In the gout study, researchers followed 46 gout patients for a mean of roughly 13 years. Most of the patients were male, and the mean age at which gout appeared was 66. They found that even though people usually associate gout with the big toe, the patients at highest risk for subsequent bouts with gout pain had gout originate in another joint, says co-author Eric Matteson, M.D., rheumatology chair at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
"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," Dr. Matteson says.
In other studies:
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