The Most Common Risk Factors for Gout

risk factors for gout

Gout is a type of inflammatory arthritis caused by a build-up of uric acid crystals in the bloodstream.1 This condition causes crystals to form and build up around one or more joints.1 People with gout suffer from episodes of pain, redness, swelling and/or extreme tenderness in a joint, often the big toe.1 The disease affects more than 8 million people in the US.2 Read on to find out more about the most common risk factors for gout.

 

Non-modifiable risk factors for gout

A number of risk factors contribute to your risk of gout. Some are non-modifiable, which means they can’t be changed. Non-modifiable risk factors for gout include:

Gender

In the US, gout affects three times as many men as women.2

Age

Men tend to develop gout in their fifties.3 Women tend to develop gout in their sixties.3

Family history

Gout tends to run in families.1 If your parents or siblings have (or had) gout, you are more likely to have it.1

Certain medications

Although you may need them to maintain your health, certain medicines can increase your risk of gout.4 These medicines include4:

  • Diuretics (often taken to reduce high blood pressure and ease edema)
  • Salicylate-containing drugs (such as aspirin)
  • Niacin (also known as Vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid)
  • Cyclosporine (used to suppress the immune system following an organ transplant)
  • Levodopa (used to treat Parkinson’s disease)

Never stop or start a medication without first talking with your doctor.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as untreated blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and heart and kidney diseases can increase your risk of gout.1

Recent surgery or trauma

Your risk of gout increases if you’ve recently had surgery or suffered trauma.1

 

Modifiable risk factors for gout

Fortunately, a few risk factors for gout are modifiable, which means you have some control over them. These include:

Your diet

Consuming foods and drinks that are high in purines, such as meat, certain types of seafood, sweets, juices and alcoholic beverages can increase your risk of developing gout.1 Fasting or following diets designed for rapid weight loss can also raise your risk.1

Your weight

Being overweight causes the body to produce excess uric acid.1 This may lead to higher levels of uric acid in the bloodstream and an increase in gout risk.1

 

Preventing gout flares

If you have gout and you’ve suffered with flares, don’t get discouraged. There are many things you can do to help prevent gout flares.

Drink more water

Research has shown that drinking more water can reduce your risk of gout flares.1

Follow a gout-friendly diet

Choose moderate portions of healthy food options that are lower in purines, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains.5 Good protein sources include lean meat and poultry, low-fat dairy products and certain legumes, such as lentils.5

Lose weight if needed

If you are overweight, losing extra pounds can help reduce your body’s burden of uric acid.1 Talk with your doctor about sensible ways to reduce your weight if necessary, and how you can increase your level of fitness with exercise.

Try medication

Medications to prevent gout flares are available. Colchicine is one of the most frequently used medicines for preventing gout flares.6 Learn more about prescription colchicine here.

 

Don’t give up

Changing your habits may be difficult at first, but even small adjustments may help.7 Be sure to talk with your doctor about gout flare prevention and how you can live better with gout.

 

NOTE: This article was not written by a medical professional and is not intended to substitute for the guidance of a physician. These are not West-Ward’s recommendations for gout flare prevention, but rather facts and data collected from various reliable medical sources. For a full list of resources and their attributing links, see below.

References

  1. Diseases and Conditions/Gout/Symptoms & causes. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/symptoms-causes/syc-20372897. Accessed May 23, 2018.
  2. Zhu Y, Pandya BJ, Choi HK. Prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in the US general population: the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007-2008. Arthritis Rheum. Oct 2011;63(10):3136-313.
  3. Dirken-Heukensfeldt KJ, Teunissen T, van de Lisdonk E, Lagro-Janssen A. “Clinical features of women with gout arthritis.” A systematic review. Clin Rheumatol. 2010;29:575–582.
  4. Gout: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment. What Causes Gout? NIH Medline Plus website. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/magazine/issues/winter12/articles/winter12pg20.html. Accessed May 23, 2018.
  5. Healthy Lifestyle/Nutrition and healthy eating/Gout diet: What’s allowed, what’s not. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/gout-diet/art-20048524. Accessed May 23, 2018.
  6. Latourte A, Bardin T, Richette P. Prophylaxis for acute gout flares after initiation of urate-lowering therapy. Rheumatology. 2014;53:1920–1926.
  7. Diseases and Conditions/Gout/Diagnosis & treatment. Mayo Clinic website. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gout/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20372903. Accessed May 23, 2018.

Important Safety Information for Mitigare® (colchicine) 0.6 mg capsules

  • Colchicine 0.6 mg capsules are contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment who are currently prescribed drugs that inhibit both P-gp and CYP3A4. Combining these dual inhibitors with colchicine in patients with renal or hepatic impairment has resulted in life-threatening or fatal colchicine toxicity. Patients with both renal and hepatic impairment should not be given Mitigare®.
  • Fatal overdoses have been reported with colchicine in adults and children. Keep Mitigare® out of the reach of children.
  • Blood dyscrasias such as myelosuppression, leukopenia, granulocytopenia, thrombocytopenia, and aplastic anemia have been reported with colchicine used in therapeutic doses.
  • Monitor for toxicity and if present consider temporary interruption or discontinuation of colchicine.
  • Drug interaction with dual P-gp and CYP3A4 inhibitors: Co-administration of colchicine with dual P-gp and CYP3A4 inhibitors has resulted in life-threatening interactions and death.
  • Neuromuscular toxicity and rhabdomyolysis may occur with chronic treatment with colchicine in therapeutic doses, especially in combination with other drugs known to cause this effect. Patients with impaired renal function and elderly patients (including those with normal renal and hepatic function) are at increased risk. Consider temporary interruption or discontinuation of Mitigare®.
  • The most commonly reported adverse reactions with colchicine are gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Indication

Mitigare® is indicated for prophylaxis of gout flares in adults. The safety and effectiveness of Mitigare for acute treatment of gout flares during prophylaxis has not been studied.

Mitigare® is not an analgesic medication and should not be used to treat pain from other causes.

For Full Prescribing Information please CLICK HERE and for Medication Guide CLICK HERE.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.

Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Manufactured by: West-Ward Columbus Inc., Columbus, OH 43228

Important Safety Information for Mitigare® (colchicine) 0.6 mg capsules

  • Colchicine 0.6 mg capsules are contraindicated in patients with renal or hepatic impairment who are currently prescribed drugs that inhibit both P-gp and CYP3A4. Combining these dual inhibitors with colchicine in patients with renal or hepatic impairment has resulted in life-threatening or fatal colchicine toxicity. Patients with both renal and hepatic impairment should not be given Mitigare®.
  • Fatal overdoses have been reported with colchicine in adults and children. Keep Mitigare® out of the reach of children.