It's Not Just the Men
Women At Risk
been considered to be a disease more prevalent in men than women. Often called the disease of kings because of
its association with alcohol and rich foods, gout certainly does show up a lot
in men. However, postmenopausal women
have as great a risk for developing gout as men do according to a team of
investigators who presented a report to the American College of Rheumatology.
women, who are obese, have hypertension or who are on a treatment which
features diuretics have an increased risk of gout that is on par with men. As a result, the same preventative measures
suggested for men should apply also to women.
MD, DrPH, an associate professor of medicine at the University of British
Columbia in Vancouver, Canada was the principal investigator who spearheaded
the study when he was working at Massachusetts General Hospital as the director
of outcomes research. "The same
treatment strategies for reducing these risk factors in men should be
applicable to women," he said. "Because
gout is one of the most painful conditions experienced by human beings,
modifying the risk factors for gout would not only be beneficial generally but
would reduce considerable morbidity by reducing the risk of gout alone."
fact that gout has been rising in incidence among women, the need for a large
population-based study was deemed necessary to assess risk factors for gout in
women. The Nurses' Health Study, which
followed 92,224 women without a baseline gout history was used as the data
source. Obesity, hypertension and
diuretic use were all found to be risk factors for men, and the study showed
them to be risk factors for women as well.
began in 1980 and participants filled out questionnaires every two years
relative to their weight, BMI, physician-diagnosed medical conditions and use
of medications which included diagnosis of hypertension and the use of
diuretics. Dietary and alcohol consumption
were included as well. At the end of 24
years of follow-up it was noted that in those women with high BMI, the risk for
gout increased as it did with hypertension and the use of diuretics.
The Study Proves It
factors for women who are obese or morbidly obese are cause for reinforcing the
literature informing of the negative health outcomes associated with
obesity. It was noted that it is
important to advise women to avoid the risk of gout by losing weight and to
treat hypertension with means other than diuretics.