Gout Risk Is Lower Among Healthier Eaters

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A DASH-style diet is associated with a reduced risk of gout, whereas a Western diet is associated with a higher risk.
A DASH-style diet is associated with a reduced risk of gout, whereas a Western diet is associated with a higher risk.

Gout risk is lower among individuals who follow a DASH-style diet and higher among those who consume a Western diet, investigators reported in BMJ 2017;357:j1794.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet emphasizes high intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and low intake of red and processed meats and sweetened beverages. Western diets include high intake of red and processed meats, refined grains, and sweets.

The study, led by Hyon K. Choi, MD, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, included 44,444 men who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who had no history of gout at baseline. Using validated food frequency questionnaires, researchers calculated DASH dietary pattern and Western dietary pattern scores. A total of 1731 confirmed gout cases were documented during 26 years of follow-up.

Compared with individuals in the lowest quintile of DASH score, those in the highest quintile had a significant 32% lower risk of incident gout in multivariable analysis. Compared with individuals in the lowest quintile of Western diet score, those in the highest quintile had a significant 42% higher risk of gout.

“Our findings provide the first prospective evidence that the DASH diet is associated with a lower risk of incident gout, whereas the Western diet is associated with an increased risk of incident gout,” the investigators concluded. “The DASH diet could offer an attractive preventative dietary approach for the risk of gout.”

Reference

Rai SK, Fung TT, Lu N, et al. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, Western diet, and risk of gout in men: prospective cohort study. BMJ 2017;357:j1794. doi: 10.1136/bmj.j1794

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