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Diet high in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains may reduce risk of gout

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Abstract

Eating a diet high in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains and low in salt, sugary drinks, and red meat is associated with a lower risk of gout than a typical Western diet, a long term follow-up study has found.1 Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis and is caused by hyperuricemia. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet has been shown to reduce uric acid levels in the blood, …

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Objective To prospectively examine the relation between the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) and Western diets and risk of gout (ie, the clinical endpoint of hyperuricemia) in men. Design Prospective cohort study. Setting The Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Participants 44 444 men with no history of gout at baseline. Using validated food frequency questionnaires, each participant was assigned a DASH dietary pattern score (based on high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low fat dairy products, and whole grains, and low intake of sodium, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meats) and a Western dietary pattern score (based on high intake of red and processed meats, French fries, refined grains, sweets, and desserts). Main outcome measure Risk of incident gout meeting the preliminary American College of Rheumatology survey criteria for gout, adjusting for potential confounders, including age, body mass index, hypertension, diuretic use, and alcohol intake. Results During 26 years of follow-up, 1731 confirmed cases of incident gout were documented. A higher DASH dietary pattern score was associated with a lower risk for gout (adjusted relative risk for extreme fifths 0.68, 95% confidence interval 0.57 to 0.80, P value for trend <0.001). In contrast, a higher Western dietary pattern score was associated with an increased risk for gout (1.42, 1.16 to 1.74, P=0.005). Conclusion The DASH diet is associated with a lower risk of gout, suggesting that its effect of lowering uric acid levels in individuals with hyperuricemia translates to a lower risk of gout. Conversely, the Western diet is associated with a higher risk of gout. The DASH diet may provide an attractive preventive dietary approach for men at risk of gout.