Four Modifiable Risk Factors Contribute to Gout

September 6, 2019

Four modifiable risk factors could individually account for a notable proportion of hyperuricemia cases, according to a study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.

For the study, Hyon K. Choi, MD, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues used data from 14,624 adults to calculate the adjusted prevalence ratios for hyperuricemia, population attributable risks, and the variance explained according body mass index (BMI ≥25 kg/m2), alcohol intake, non‐adherence to a DASH‐style diet, and diuretic use.

The researchers found that BMI, alcohol intake, adherence to a DASH‐style diet, and diuretic use were all associated with serum urate levels and the presence of hyperuricemia in a dose‐response manner. The corresponding population attributable risks of hyperuricemia cases for overweight/obesity (prevalence = 60%), non‐adherence to a DASH‐style diet (prevalence = 82%), alcohol use (prevalence = 48%), and diuretic use (prevalence = 8%) were 44% (95% confidence interval [CI], 41%-48%), 9% (95% CI, 3%-16%), 8% (95% CI, 5%-11%), and 12% (95% CI, 11%-14%), respectively, whereas the corresponding variances explained were 8.9%, 0.1%, 0.5%, and 5.0%.

The findings indicate that public health efforts to promote a healthy diet and prevent obesity would help reduce the frequency of hyperuricemia and eventually the risk of gout in the general population.

“These findings suggest that modifiable factors have an important place in the primary prevention of hyperuricemia and likely gout,” concluded Dr. Choi. “Public health efforts should promote individual behavioural changes as well as broader policy changes targeting the obesogenic food environment. The expected health benefits would extend well beyond hyperuricemia and gout, to impact their numerous major comorbidities such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.”