Risk of Gout Flares Varies By Time of Day

(HealthDay News) — Acute gout attacks occur two times more often during the night and early morning than during the day, according to study findings published online December 11 in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

The study included 724 gout patients (average age, 54 years; 89% white; 78% male). The researchers tracked their health for one year. During that time, there were 1,433 acute gout attacks.

The researchers found that 733 of these attacks occurred between midnight and 7:59 a.m.; 310 happened between 8 a.m. and 2:59 p.m. and 390 occurred between 3 p.m. and 11:59 p.m. Compared to daytime, the risk of an acute gout attack was more than twice as high overnight. The increased risk was seen even among patients with low purine intake in the 24 hours prior to an attack.

“Our findings provide the first prospective evidence that the risk of gout flares is higher during the night and early morning hours than during the day,” Hyon Choi, MD, of Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, said in a journal news release. “As a result of our study, prophylactic measures that prevent gout flares, especially at night, may be more effective.”

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