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Women Who Drink Sugary Beverages Raise Risk of Gout

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women who drink fructose-rich beverages such as sugar-sweetened sodas and orange juice are at increased risk for gout, a new study finds.

The incidence of gout -- a painful type of inflammatory arthritis -- in the United States increased from 16 per 100,000 people in 1977 to 42 per 100,000 in 1996. That rise coincided with a large increase in soda and fructose consumption, the study authors noted.

Fructose-rich beverages can cause a buildup of uric acid in the blood, which leads to gout.

In this study, researchers analyzed data from 78,906 women who took part in the Nurses' Health Study between 1984 and 2006. The women had no history of gout at the start of the study.

Over the next 22 years, 778 of the women were diagnosed with gout. Compared with women who consumed less than one serving of sugar-sweetened soda per month, those who consumed one serving per day were 74 percent more likely to develop gout and those who consumed two or more servings per day had a 2.4 times higher risk.

In addition, the investigators found that compared with women who consumed less than a glass (six ounces) of orange juice per month, those who consumed one serving per day were 41 percent more likely to develop gout, and those who consumed two or more servings per day had a 2.4 times greater risk.

The study also found that women in the highest quintile (fifth) of fructose intake were 62 percent more likely to develop gout than those in the lowest quintile.

Doctors should be aware of the potential effect that fructose-rich beverages have on gout risk, said Dr. Hyon K. Choi, of Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues.

The study, which was released online in advance of publication in the Nov. 24 print edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, was presented this week at the American College of Rheumatology annual scientific meeting in Atlanta.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about gout.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, Nov. 10, 2010

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