Janet W. Maynard, MD, MHS at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD and colleagues found cumulative incidence of gout by age 70 years for women at 3.6 percent among those who were overweight at the baseline and 7.9 percent among those with obesity at the baseline. Women who have a healthy weight at baseline had a gout incidence of 1.9 percent, and those who were considered morbidly obese had an incidence of 11.8 percent.
The study included 6263 women aged 45 to 65 years and without a history of gout, accepted between 1987 and 1989 in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study. During the nine year study, 106 women developed gout. Those considered obese were twice as likely to get gout than those considered non-obese.
Early adult obesity, before 25 years of age, among women correlated to a 2.8 times increased risk of gout, compared to those who were not obese at 25.
The researchers concluded that, "In a large cohort of black and white women, obesity in early- and mid-adulthood, and weight gain during this interval, were each independent risk factors for incident gout in women."
A different study, led Ronenn Roubenoff, MD, MHS and colleagues, was published in The Journal of American Medical Association and used men as subjects. Their study associated obesity, excessive weight gain in young adulthood, and hypertension with increased risk of gout.
In their report, the researchers state, "prevention of obesity and hypertension may decrease the incidence and morbidity from gout; studies of weight reduction in the primary and secondary prevention of gout are indicated."
A possible reason for the increase in gout is the consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks, which have already been associated with the obesity epidemic in the United States. Soft drinks often contain fructose, which leads to the formation of gout-promoting uric acid.
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