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ACR: Gout and Hyperuricemia Up Over Last Two Decades

Last Updated: November 10, 2010.

Over the past two decades, the overall prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia appears to have increased among U.S. adults, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Nov. 7 to 11 in Atlanta. In another study published online Nov. 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that intake of fructose-rich beverages is associated with an increased risk of incident gout in women.

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Over the past two decades, the overall prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia appears to have increased among U.S. adults, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology, held from Nov. 7 to 11 in Atlanta. In another study published online Nov. 10 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that intake of fructose-rich beverages is associated with an increased risk of incident gout in women.

In the first study, Yanyan Zhu, Ph.D., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues estimated the prevalence of gout using data from 5,707 participants, aged 20 and older, in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007 to 2008 and compared it with data from 18,825 participants in the NHANES III (1988 to 1994). In 2007 to 2008, the investigators found that the overall prevalence of gout among U.S. adults (3.9 percent) was significantly higher than in 1988 to 1994 (2.7 percent). The difference was primarily attributable to an increased prevalence among men and the elderly. In addition, the prevalence of hyperuricemia in 2007 to 2008 (21.4 percent) was significantly higher than in 1988 to 1994 (18.2 percent).

In the second study, Hyon K. Choi, M.D., of Boston University, and colleagues analyzed data from 78,906 women -- who had no history of gout at baseline -- from the Nurses' Health Study (1984 to 2006). They found that, compared with intake of less than one monthly serving of sugar-sweetened soda, the multivariate relative risk of gout for one daily serving was 1.74 and for at least two daily servings was 2.39. The corresponding relative risks for orange juice were 1.41 and 2.42.

"Among this cohort of women, consumption of fructose-rich beverages is associated with an increased risk of incident gout, although the contribution of these beverages to the risk of gout in the population is likely modest given the low incidence rate among women," Choi and colleagues conclude.

One author of the first study disclosed serving as an employee of Takeda Pharmaceuticals International Inc., while another author reported serving as a consultant for the company. Two authors of the second study disclosed ties to Takeda Pharmaceuticals and/or Savient Pharmaceuticals.

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