What are the risk factors for developing gout?

Updated: Jan 26, 2021
  • Author: Bruce M Rothschild, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Elevated serum uric acid levels are the principal risk factor for developing gout. lIn study that compared 993 patients with asymptomatic hyperuricemia and 4,241 normouricemic patients, the odds ratio (OR) for developing gout was 32 times higher in the hyperuricemic group than in the normouricemic group. The risk was most striking in men with severe hyperuricemia, in whom the OR for developing gout was 624.8. [4]

Although gout is associated with hyperuricemia, gout attacks are triggered not by a particular level of uric acid but typically by acute changes in the level of uric acid. All individuals with gout have hyperuricemia; however, hyperuricemia is also found in patients taking diuretics and even in those taking niacin or low doses of aspirin.

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