OBJECTIVES--To investigate if serum Lp(a) lipoprotein (Lp(a)), a risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases, increases in patients with gout, who frequently also have atherosclerotic disease. METHODS--Fasting blood samples were taken for measurement of Lp(a) and other variables in 175 male patients with primary gout. Serum concentrations of Lp(a) were measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. The median value and frequency distribution of Lp(a) in gout patients were compared with those in 172 control male subjects. In addition, we examined the effect of niceritorol on serum Lp(a) values in gout patients in whom the Lp(a) concentration was greater than 20 mg/dl. RESULTS--Serum Lp(a) was significantly higher in patients with gout than control subjects (median 15.5 mg/dl upsilon 8.6 mg/dl; p < 0.01). The frequency distribution of Lp(a) in gout was significantly shifted towards greater concentrations compared with control, although skewed distribution was noted in both groups. Serum Lp(a) concentration was not related to age, body mass index, alcohol intake, creatinine, fasting blood sugar or uric acid in patients with gout. Niceritorol decreased the serum concentrations of Lp(a) in gout. CONCLUSIONS--These observations suggest that serum Lp(a) concentrations are increased in patients with gout and may play a role as one of the risk factors for atherosclerotic diseases in gout. Niceritorol seems effective in decreasing high levels of Lp(a) in patients with gout without detrimental influence on serum uric acid concentration.
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