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Redmond Regional Medical Center

Risk Factors for Gout

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop gout with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing gout. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

High levels of uric acid in the blood is the main risk factor for gout.

Gout is more common in men over 30 years old, and usually doesn't usually affect women until after menopause . The risk for gout is increased if other family members have gout.

Other factors that may increase your chance of gout include:

Lifestyle Factors

Lifestyle factors that increase the risk of gout include:

  • Obesity —poor eating habits can lead to an increase of uric acid in the blood
  • Eating a diet high in foods with purines, such as seafood, shellfish, or red meat
  • Excess intake of alcohol
  • Drinking high-fructose beverages, such as sugar-sweetened sodas and orange juice

Medical Conditions

Serious illness, such as a heart attack or stroke , can trigger a gout attack. Other illnesses that may increase the risk for developing gout include:

Medical Treatments

Medications and vitamins that may increase the risk of gout include:

  • Diuretics—often used to treat high blood pressure
  • Salicylates and medications made from salicylic acid, such as aspirin
  • Levodopa—used in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease
  • Cyclosporine—used to help control rejection of transplanted organs
  • Niacin

Revision Information

  • Gout. American College of Rheumatology website. Available at: Updated September 2012. Accessed December 5, 2014.

  • Gout. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated August 28, 2014. Accessed December 5, 2014.

  • Gout. National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases website. Available at: Updated July 2010. Accessed December 5, 2014.

  • Pittman JR, Bross MH. Diagnosis and management of gout. Am Fam Physician. 1999;59(7):1799-1806.

The health information in this Health Library is provided by a third party. Redmond Regional Medical Center does not in any way create the content of this information. It is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician. Always consult with your doctor for appropriate examinations, treatment, testing, and care recommendations. Do not rely on information on this site as a tool for self-diagnosis. If you have a medical emergency, call 911.