TUESDAY, March 30, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Rates of in-hospital cardiac procedures continued to increase in people with gout and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) from 1998 to 2014, although they decreased for the general population, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease.

Jasvinder A. Singh, M.B.B.S., M.P.H., and John Cleveland, M.D., both from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, used data from the U.S. National Inpatient Sample (1998 to 2014) to examine the frequency of seven common cardiac and orthopedic procedures in hospitalized people with gout and RA compared to the general population.

The researchers found that both in-hospital cardiac and orthopedic procedures increased for gout and RA patients with time, while cardiac procedures declined for the general U.S. population. Cardiac procedures were significantly higher in patients with gout versus RA in 1998 (59 percent higher) and 2014 (92 percent higher). By 2014, orthopedic procedures became more common than cardiac procedures in gout and RA patients. The cardiac-orthopedic procedure volume difference was significant in 1998 and 2014 for RA patients. For gout patients, there were no significant differences noted between cardiac and orthopedic procedures in 1998, but the difference was significant in 2014. In 1998, the rate of orthopedic procedures among gout patients was significantly lower than that seen for RA patients (33 percent lower), but by 2014, the rate was significantly higher than that seen for RA patients (5 percent higher).

“The widening gap in cardiac procedures between gout and RA and crossing over for orthopedic procedures over time indicates that optimal treatment and treat-to-target implemented in RA treatment may need to be implemented in gout to improve disease outcomes and associated morbidity and resource burden,” the authors write.

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