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Harvard Medical School
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General Medical Questions
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Question : Is there any link between hypertension and gout attacks?
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The Trusted Source
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Howard LeWine, M.D.

Howard LeWine, M.D., is chief editor of Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publications. He is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. LeWine has been a primary care internist and teacher of internal medicine since 1978.

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May 14, 2012
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A:

Yes, there is an association between high blood pressure and gout. About one-third of people who come to the doctor’s office with an attack of gout will have a blood pressure reading greater than 140/90. But there is no evidence that gout causes high blood pressure or that high blood pressure causes gout.

Gout attacks happen when uric acid crystals get into joint fluid and inflame the joint.

Diuretic medicines (water pills) used to treat high blood pressure can raise blood levels of uric acid. All diuretics can do this. But hydrochlorothiazide is the most common culprit.

Alcohol can be a frequent cause of both high blood pressure and gout. Those who have both conditions might need to stop drinking completely.

When a person has both high blood pressure and gout, it is important to check kidney function with a blood and urine test. The blood test for creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) provides guidance to whether the kidneys are filtering blood as they should. The urine test is done to see if the kidneys are leaking protein. This is also a sign of kidney injury.

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