SNORING can double the risk of developing gout, researchers say.
A study of 80,000 Brits highlighted a breathing problem called obstructive sleep apnoea, which affects 1.5 million people in the UK.
It fuels uric acid, too much of which creates sharp crystals, triggering the painful joint condition. Those of normal BMI were twice as prone.
Gout is usually associated with a rich diet.
Symptoms can be eased by eating foods low in purines such as nuts, low fat dairy products, eggs and some fruits. Purines are chemicals that boost uric acid.
Dr Edward Roddy, of Staffordshire’s Keele University, said: “People with sleep apnoea are at an increased risk of gout in both the short and long term.
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“Since this risk was highest in people with normal body mass index, doctors and other health professionals should consider the possibility of gout in patents with sleep apnoea – regardless of body mass index.”
He added: “For those with normal BMI the highest significant hazard ratio of 2.02 was observed at two to five years post index date.”
The treatment consists of a plastic mask that fits over the nose and mouth and is connected to a machine that blows air under low pressure continually into the back of the throat as the patient lies in bed.
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