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High Fructose Drinks Increase Gout Risk for Women

Kathleen Blanchard's picture

Women who consume high fructose drinks like orange juice and soda are at increased risk for gout, a painful form of arthritis. Though the risk is modest, researchers found an association between increasing consumption of fructose laden beverages seen over the past few decades and gout in women.

Researchers Hyon K. Choi, M.D., Dr.P.H., of the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues looked at the relationship between high fructose and gout in a large group of women, taken from the Nurses' Health Study. They found a 74 percent increased risk of gout among women who drank one soda a day, compared to those who drank less than one per month.

Even orange juice was linked to a higher risk of gout in women. Women who consumed one glass of orange juice daily had a 41 percent higher chance of the disease, compared to those who drank less than 6 ounces of orange juice a month.

Preventing Gout in Women Focus of Study

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The researchers explain gout in women is not common, but view the findings as a note for preventing newly diagnosed cases, because high fructose drinks were found to raise the risk substantially.

Fructose in beverages raises uric acid levels that cause painful crystals to deposit in the joints. The result is swelling, inflammation and pain that can be debilitating.

The study followed women from 1984 to 2006 by way of food questionnaires. A total of 78,906 women were included in the study who provided information about fructose and beverage intake and who had no gout at the beginning of the study. During the 22 years the women were followed there were 778 newly diagnosed cases of gout.

The authors write "Our data provide prospective evidence that fructose poses an increased risk of gout among women, thus supporting the importance of reducing fructose intake." They recommend that physician remain aware of the risk when screening women. The study found no increased risk of gout in women from drinking diet soft drinks.

JAMA. 2010;304[20]:doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1638