Consuming sugary beverages raises the risk of getting gout

Fructose-rich drinks are not just bad for your teeth – a recent study suggests that these drinks increase the risk of developing gout, a common and painful form of arthritis.

A group of researchers from Boston analyzed data from 78,906 women in the Nurses’ Health Study, none of whom had any history of gout when the study began.

After 22 years, 778 of these women had contracted gout.

Increasing intake of sugar-sweetened sodas that contained fructose was associated with an increase in the risk of gout. Women who consumed 1 serving of soda a day had a 74% higher risk of gout. Those who had 2 or more servings a day of soda or orange juice showed a 2.4-times higher risk.

On the other hand, an increase in diet soda intake was not associated with the occurrence of the disease.

Previous studies suggest that women are less likely to contract gout than men – and so these results are “likely modest given the low incidence rate among women.”

Even so, these findings “support the importance of reducing fructose intake,” the researchers concluded.

The study was published in the November 8 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.