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Gout or high uric acid? Run for your life!

High uric acid is common, and is associated with gout. However, many studies have shown that even in people without gout, having a high uric acid level is not entirely good news. It is associated with a higher risk of dying overall! Yikes!

Well, the good news from the study just published in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases (by Chen JH et al) is that this is not true if you exercise. Those who are 'fully active' lived 4-6 years longer than those who were not, and this overcame any effect of the high urate on longevity.

Now, 'fully active' meant exercising for 150 minutes a week or 30 minutes a day for five or more days a week at moderate intensity as recommended by pretty much everyone! (for example see these links from the World Health Organisation, American Heart Association, and our own NHS).

There was some benefit from managing 'some activity' such as 15 minutes a day of brisk walking, but it just wasn't as good as the 'fully active'. Those who were 'fully active' lived on average 4-6 years longer than those who were sedentary! Of course, there may have been underlying health reasons as to why they weren't exercising more.

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