Obesity, Weight Change, High Blood Pressure, and Use of Diuretics as Risk Factors of Gout in Men

Title: Obesity, weight change, hypertension, diuretic use, and risk of gout in men: the health professionals follow-up study.
Choi HK, et al.
Publication: Arch Intern Med. 2005 Apr 11;165(7):742-8.

The authors wanted to find the link between gout and obesity, weight change, hypertension (high blood pressure) and use of diuretic (medications that increase the production of urine).

To do this, they examined data showing the incidence of gout in 47,150 male patients over 12 year period (1986 to 1998). These men started with no history of gout. Over the years, the authors documented 730 confirmed cases of gout.

When checked against body mass index, the authors saw that the risk of gout increases as such:

Relative Risk of Gout
21 - 22.9
25 - 29.9
30 - 34.9

This means that a man with body mass index of 35 or greater has almost 3x the risk developing gout as compared to a man with BMI of only 21.

When compared to men who maintained their weight (within a range of 4 lbs) since the age of 21 years, men who gained 30 lb or more has almost 2x higher risk of developing gout. In contrast, those who has lost 10 lbs or more saw their risk decreased by 61%.

The presence of high blood pressure increases the risk by 231%, whereas the use of diuretic increases it by 177%.

The authors concluded that obesity, weight gain, high blood pressure, and use of diuretics are important risk factors for gout, whereas losing weight has a protective effect.

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