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Psoriatic Diseases Raise Risk of Gout

Melissa Leavitt

People with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may need to watch out for signs of gout.

A new study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases finds an increased risk of gout among people with a prior diagnosis of psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. Gout is an inflammatory disease caused by a buildup of uric acid in the body.

Researchers decided to investigate a possible link between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and gout after noticing an overlap in the number of individuals who had both of these conditions, said Dr. Joseph F. Merola, the study’s lead author. “Despite controlling for other risk factors, there appears to be a direct association between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and attacks of gout,” Merola said.

The study followed 98,810 people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and found that 2,217 participants had also been diagnosed with gout. These results indicated that people with psoriasis had 1.71 times the risk of developing gout. The risk was even greater in people with psoriatic arthritis, who were found to be nearly five times as likely to develop gout.

The authors noted that these findings have important clinical implications for the diagnosis and prevention of gout in patients with psoriatic disease. 

“Patients who experience sudden onset joint pain should certainly discuss it with their doctor,” said Dr. Abrar Qureshi, a co-author of the study and a member of the National Psoriasis Foundation’s Medical Board. Acute tenderness and inflammation of the joints can be a sign of gout. It is also important to avoid risk factors for gout, such as obesity and alcohol intake, Qureshi said.

One reason behind the heightened risk for gout might be the increased rate of cell turnover that occurs in psoriasis, a process that releases uric acid, Merola explained. Researchers continue to explore the connection between gout and psoriasis, trying to identify the factors linking these conditions together. 

“The causal link between psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, elevated serum uric acid levels, and systemic inflammation remains unclear and is an important area of ongoing investigation,” Merola said.

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