Risk Factors for Gout
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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.
Risk factors for gout include:
Age and Gender
Although gout can occur in men and women of any age, it most often occurs in men over age 40. Gout usually does not affect women until after menopause.
Lifestyle factors that increase the risk of gout include:
- Being overweight
- Eating a diet that includes foods high in purines. For a list of foods, see ]]>Reducing your Risk of Gout]]> .
- Fasting or crash dieting
- Drinking alcohol (especially in excess)
There appears to be a genetic component to gout. Six percent to eighteen percent of people who have gout have relatives who also have gout. In a small number of people, the risk of gout is increased by an enzyme defect that interferes with the way the body breaks down purines.
- ]]>High blood pressure]]>
- Vascular disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Kidney disease
- Thyroid disorders
- Certain types of ]]>anemia]]>
- Following surgical procedures
Certain medications and vitamins can increase the risk of gout. These include:
- Salicylates and medicines made from salicylic acid (such as ]]>aspirin]]> )
- Caffeine, including medicines containing caffeine
- Levodopa (used in the treatment of ]]>Parkinson’s disease]]> )
- Withdrawal of corticosteroid medications
- ]]>Cyclosporine]]> (used to help control rejection of transplanted organs)
- Niacin (a vitamin)
American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://www.aafp.org/online/en/home.html .
American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: http://www.rheumatology.org/ .
National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niams.nih.gov/ .
The Merck Manual of Medical Information. 17th ed. Simon and Schuster, Inc; 2000.
Last reviewed February 2009 by ]]>Jill D. Landis, MD]]>
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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