Elevated urate in the blood (hyperuricemia) is a precursor of gout, which is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis worldwide. A study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology that included 14,624 U.S. adults found that four modifiable risk factors--body mass index, diet, alcohol consumption, and diuretic use--each have important roles in the development of hyperuricemia.
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. Public health efforts should promote individual behavioral changes as well as broader policy changes targeting the obesogenic food environment," said lead author Hyon K. Choi, MD, DrPH, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "The expected health benefits would extend well beyond hyperuricemia and gout, to impact their numerous major co-morbidities such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes."