Prevalence of Gout Increases With Increasing BMI

Elevated burden of gout exists in overweight and obese; link independent of serum uric acid

TUESDAY, July 17 (HealthDay News) -- Having an increased body mass index (BMI) correlates with increased prevalence of gout in adults, according to study published online July 6 in Arthritis Care & Research.

Stephen P. Juraschek, of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the prevalence of gout among overweight, obese, and morbidly obese sectors of the U.S. population (aged 20 years and older) using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) in 1988 to 1994 and 2007 to 2010.

The researchers found that the crude prevalence of gout was 1 to 2, 3, 4 to 5, and 5 to 7 percent, respectively, for participants with normal BMI, overweight, class I obesity, and class II or III obesity. After adjustment for demographic and obesity-related disorders, comparing the highest to normal BMI category, the prevalence ratio was 2.46 in 1988 to 1994 and 2.21 in 2007 to 2010, with the prevalence ratio increasing with successively higher BMI. In both NHANES, a 1 unit higher BMI correlated with a 5 percent greater prevalence of gout in the average 5-foot, 9-inch adult, even after adjustment for serum uric acid (P < 0.001).

"In conclusion, successive categories of BMI are associated in a dose-response fashion with a higher prevalence of gout," the authors write. "Health care providers treating obese, or even overweight, patients should be cognizant of the elevated burden of gout among these segments of the U.S. population."

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