A new research study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology by the American College of Rheumatology has shown a positive correlation between obstructive sleep apnea and gout. The study included more than 79,000 patients who were followed for an average of about six years. Over time, the study showed that 4.9% of patients with sleep apnea developed gout, compared with only 2.6% of patients without sleep apnea.
The exact mechanism connecting the two is still unclear. It’s thought that the lower oxygen saturation rates during sleep encourage the production of uric acid, and the accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints caused the inflammation and pain of gout.
Both health disorders are also associated with high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and other health conditions However, the study did offer controls for these and other disorders, and the independent association between gout and sleep apnea was still prominent.
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