What Are the Risk Factors for Gout

What Are the Risk Factors for Gout

What Are the Risk Factors for Gout?

• Age and gender. Men with high blood levels of uric acid have an elevated risk of gout compared to women. The average age of men afflicted is 30–50 years old. Postmenopausal women have a higher risk of gout compared to premenopausal women.

• Family and genetics. Genetics is related to gout. The ABCG2 gene  encodes a membrane protein that supports the transport and excretion of uric acid from the blood. Mutation of the ABCG2 gene raises the uric acid contents of the blood and increases the risk of gout.

• Diet. Habitual consumption of purine-rich foods increases the risk of gout. Purine-rich foods include animals' internal organs, such as the liver and kidneys, and animal meats, such as pheasant, wild rabbit, venison, anchovies, herring, mackerel, trout, shellfish, and crabs. Alcoholic beverages, particularly beer, raise the blood level of uric acid.

• Obesity. Obesity increases the risk of gout twofold. Obese people tend to suffer from gout at least 11 years earlier than nonobese people.

• Hypertension. High blood levels of uric acid are common in hypertensive patients, who have a twofold increased risk of gout compared to healthy individuals. Hypertensive patients who are on diuretic medications further increase their risk of gout.

• Diabetes. High blood glucose and insulin resistance are risk factors for gout.

• Kidney disease. Kidney disease decreases the excretion of uric acid and elevates the blood level of uric acid. Kidney stones made of uric acid crystals can injure the cells and tissues in the kidneys and increase the risk of gout. In addition, gout exacerbates the symptoms of kidney disease.

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