Can febuxostat protect the heart from the harmful effects of elevated blood uric acid levels? A clinical trial
was conducted aimed at evaluating the effects of febuxostat on the heart of patients suffering from gout.
Gout is a common form of inflammatory arthritis that is characterized by pain and swelling of the joints. It results from elevated blood uric acid levels, also called hyperuricemia. Uric acid is a waste product of protein breakdown in the body. Febuxostat is a medication used to treat gout. It reduces uric acid production which in turn lowers its level in the blood.
Hyperuricemia and gout usually have harmful effects on the heart. They are associated with a reduction of heart function and thus, can have severe consequences for the affected patients. Scientists have actively been searching for medications to protect the heart function of patients with gout.
In this clinical trial, researchers investigated the effects of febuxostat on the heart function of patients with elevated blood uric acid levels.
The clinical study involved 65 patients with elevated blood uric acid levels. They were divided into two groups. 31 patients received febuxostat therapy to reduce their uric acid levels, while 34 patients only received advice on lifestyle changes such as reduced intake of red meat and increase water intake.
At the end of 1 and 2 years, the researchers analyzed the patients' left ventricular diastolic function, which is a measure of how well the heart relaxes and fills with blood during the resting phase of the heartbeat, and left ventricular systolic function which measures how well the heart contracts to pump blood into the body.
The results of the clinical study showed that the patients who received febuxostat had a significant improvement in their left ventricular systolic function compared to those who did not receive this medication. Febuxostat also preserved the diastolic function which was otherwise reduced in the other group.
These results highlighted that febuxostat protects the heart from the harmful effects of increased blood uric acid levels.
This clinical study has important implications for the treatment of patients with increased blood uric acid levels as it demonstrates that febuxostat is safe and effective in protecting the heart function of patients suffering from gout.
Overall, the findings of this clinical trial suggest that febuxostat may have a positive effect on the heart function of patients with hyperuricemia. It emphasizes that febuxostat may be a promising treatment option for patients with elevated blood uric acid levels who are also at risk of heart disease. However, patients should always consult with their doctor before starting febuxostat therapy for gout.