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Rheumatoid arthritis patients can get gout too, Mayo Clinic Study finds
Date:11/10/2012

WASHINGTON -- Refuting a belief long held by many physicians, a Mayo Clinic study found that rheumatoid arthritis patients also can get gout. The research is among several studies Mayo Clinic is presenting at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting in Washington. Researchers also found that gut bacteria has potential to treat autoimmune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis patients are at higher risk for cancer, broken bones put rheumatoid arthritis patients in greater danger of heart disease and death, and corticosteroids are a mainstay of rheumatoid arthritis treatment even as new drugs emerge.

VIDEO ALERT: A video interview with Dr. Matteson is available for journalists to download on the Mayo Clinic News Network

The gout study shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, rheumatoid arthritis patients aren't immune to the nation's obesity-fueled gout epidemic, says lead author Eric Matteson, M.D., chair of the Division of Rheumatology at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. The two are distinct conditions, treated differently. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks tissues, inflaming joints. In gout, the body produces too much uric acid or has problems flushing it out, and urate crystals build up in joints, causing inflammation and intense pain.

The reason it was thought that rheumatoid arthritis patients didn't get gout likely had to do with the way rheumatoid arthritis used to be treated, Dr. Matteson says. Such patients used to be given aspirin in high doses, and that coincidentally helped their kidneys expel uric acid. Aspirin is no longer used much for rheumatoid arthritis, and that, combined with a rise in obesity, is likely fueling gout in rheu
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Contact: Sharon Theimer
newsbureau@mayo.edu
507-284-5005
Mayo Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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