From Our 2013 Archives

Can You Have Both Rheumatoid Arthritis and Gout?

By Kathleen Doheny
WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

Nov. 4, 2013 (San Diego) -- Rheumatoid arthritis and gout, another form of arthritis, may occur together, despite previous thinking that having both is rare, according to new research.

Based on the new findings, doctors should consider looking for gout in RA patients, says study researcher Christina Petsch of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany.

Both are inflammatory conditions. You get gout when uric acid builds up in joints, bones, and tissue. Gouty arthritis causes inflammation in the joints, often in the big toe.

RA affects the joints, surrounding tissues, and sometimes other organs.

Petsch evaluated 100 men and women, average age 63, who'd been diagnosed with RA. On average, they had RA for nearly 9 years. All had high blood levels of uric acid.

Petsch used a scan to look for uric acid deposits in their feet. She found that 13% of the patients had positive scans.

Even though the scan was positive, it doesn't mean for sure the patients have gout. The result could have been a false-positive.

Men were more likely to have both conditions than women.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary, as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

SOURCE: American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, San Diego, Oct. 26-30, 2013.

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