Intended for healthcare professionals


Gout, medication, and cardiovascular risk . . . and other stories

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 16 February 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j726

Gout treatment and premature mortality

Galen (c.129-216 CE) gave excellent descriptions of gout, which was common among his wealthy male clients. He delighted in advising them to abstain from sex and gluttony, leaving them with little to do. Now people tend to take allopurinol instead. Those who take this and other urate-lowering drugs show a higher level of premature mortality after adjustment for a range of other factors, according to a study of the THIN database of 10 million patients in UK general practice (Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210588). Moving to a rheumatology clinic in Spain, 237 new patients with gout had a cardiovascular assessment that classed over 40% as high risk, rising to 68% if carotid ultrasound was included in the risk calculation (Ann Rheum Dis doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-210357).

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