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Risk Factors for Gout
A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop gout with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing gout. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
High levels of uric acid in the blood is the main risk factor for gout.
Gout is more common in men over 30 years old, and usually doesn't usually affect women until after menopause. The risk for gout is increased if other family members have gout.
Other factors that may increase your chance of gout include:
Lifestyle factors that increase the risk of gout include:
- Obesity—poor eating habits can lead to an increase of uric acid in the blood
- Eating a diet high in foods with purines, such as seafood, shellfish, or red meat
- Excess intake of alcohol
- Drinking high-fructose beverages, such as sugar-sweetened sodas and orange juice
Serious illness, such as a heart attack or stroke, can trigger a gout attack. Other illnesses that may increase the risk for developing gout include:
Medications and vitamins that may increase the risk of gout include:
- Diuretics—often used to treat high blood pressure
- Salicylates and medications made from salicylic acid, such as aspirin
- Levodopa—used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
- Cyclosporine—used to help control rejection of transplanted organs
Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/Practice/Clinical/Patients/Diseases%5FAnd%5FConditions/Gout. Updated September 2012. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Gout. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated August 28, 2014. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/Health%5FInfo/Gout/gout%5Fff.asp. Updated July 2010. Accessed December 5, 2014.
Pittman JR, Bross MH. Diagnosis and management of gout. Am Fam Physician. 1999;59(7):1799-1806.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 05/2014
- Update Date: 12/05/2014