Can diet affect the risk for development of gout?

Updated: Jan 26, 2021
  • Author: Bruce M Rothschild, MD; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Diet may affect the risk of developing gout. [187] A large prospective cohort study in men found that higher adherence to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet was associated with a lower risk for gout (adjusted relative risk [RR] for extreme fifths 0.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.57–0.80, P for trend <0.001), whereas following a typical Western diet was associated with an increased risk for gout (RR 1.42,  95% CI 1.16–1.74, P=0.005). [188]

The study included 44,444 men with no prior history of gout. On the basis of questionnaire responses, each participant was assigned a DASH dietary pattern score (based on high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains, and low intake of sodium, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats) and a Western dietary pattern score (based on high intake of red and processed meats, French fries, refined grains, sweets, and desserts). Documented gout occurred in 1731 study subjects during 26 years of follow-up. [188]

As an observational trial, the study could not prove that the DASH diet reduced gout risks. In addition, 91% of the study subjects were white men, and all were health professionals, so the study results may not apply to other racial or socioeconomic groups. Nevertheless, the DASH diet is more palatable than a low-purine diet, and it offers the additional benefits of reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, and kidney stones. [187, 188]

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