A recent study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology has proven an association between sleep apnea and gout, which is a painful disease affecting one’s joints, specifically the big toe. Gout is caused by an increased amount of uric acid in the blood. Various observational studies have found that people who suffer from sleep apnea are also found to have elevated amounts of uric acid in their blood.
Researchers used a British health database to collect health information on 9,865 people with sleep apnea that were an average age of 54. These subjects were matched with 43,598 controls that did not a sleep apnea disorder. Sleep apnea is often related to being overweight, which is why the researchers also matched the B.M.I. (Body Mass Index) along with other characteristics of the subjects.
After one year of study, the researchers concluded that subjects with sleep apnea were 50 percent more likely to suffer from a gout attack, as compared to the controls in the study that did not have sleep apnea. Ironically, researchers found that gender, obesity, and age were not a factor. In conclusion, researchers believe that it is possible to reduce one’s risk of a gout attack by effectively treating their sleep apnea disorder if sleep apnea is also present.
This may be a cautious statement, according to a professor of medicine at Boston University, Yuqing Zhang. However, the results of this study should lead us to further research regarding the study of sleep apnea and its association with gout attacks.
Bakalar, N. (2015). Sleep Apnea is Tied to Gout. Retrieved from https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/10/22/sleep-apnea-is-tied-to-gout/