(NaturalNews) Consuming one fructose-rich beverage per day could increase the risk of gout in women by 74%, according to a new 22-year study. The study includes research from the Nurses' Health Study and covers data from more than 78,000 women.
The study, which analyzed female health professionals who had no history of gout at the beginning of the study, will be published in the November 24 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), and was published online on the JAMA website.
"Physicians should be aware of the potential effect of these beverages on the risk of gout," reports the JAMA article, authored by Hyon Choi, MD, DrPH, of Boston University and colleagues.
Gout is a common and painful inflammatory arthritis, characterized by recurrent attacks of red, tender, hot and swollen joints, and it affects around 1-2% of Westerners at some point in their lives. The condition's incidence rate has more than doubled since the mid to late 1970s.
"The increasing disease burden of gout in the United States over the last few decades ... coincided with a substantial increase in soft drink and fructose consumption," reported the authors of the study. "Fructose-rich beverages such as sugar-sweetened soda and orange juice can increase serum uric acid levels and, thus, the risk of gout, but prospective data on the relationship are limited."
According to the results of the study, which considered data from 1984 to 2006, women who consumed 2 or more servings of sugar-sweetened soda per day increased their risk of gout by more than 200% compared to those who had less than a single serving per month.
Orange juice was also a factor that contributed to increased risk of gout. Women who consumed 1 serving of sugar-sweetened orange juice per day increased their risk of developing the condition by 41% in comparison to those that consumed less than 6 oz. per month. When the amount consumed increased to 2 or more per day, the risk of gout was increased more than 200%.
Study participants filled out a detailed questionnaire that covered diet and related lifestyle factors. The authors noted that although gout is primarily a male disease, it affects women over the age of 70. The study was adjusted for other factors that could contribute to gout: including age, status of menopause, hypertension, use of diuretics, hormone therapy, and body mass index.
The researchers point out that the study's implications point to a need for physicians to be aware of the potential risk factors of increased consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas and other beverages.
"Our data provide prospective evidence that fructose poses an increased risk of gout among women, thus supporting the importance of reducing fructose intake."