A study has revealed that sweetened drinks can increase the risk of gout in women.
Women who consume fructose-rich beverages, such as sugar-sweetened soft drinks and orange juice, are at an increased risk for gout, according to research by University of British Columbia.
Gout is a painful and potentially disabling form of arthritis, which manifests itself in the form of intense episodes of painful swelling in single joints, most often in the feet.
Gout occurs when excess uric acid (a normal waste product) accumulates in the body, and needle-like crystals deposit in the joints - and sugar-sweetened beverages may increase serum uric acid.
The investigators examined over a 22-year period the relationship between the intake of these beverages and the risk of gout in 78,906 women. They used a questionnaire to determine if participants met any of the ACR's criteria for gout.
During the 22 years examined, researchers noted 778 confirmed cases of gout. They also noted that increasing the intake of fructose-rich drinks was independently associated with increasing a woman's risk of gout.
When looking at diet soft drinks, researchers found no association with an increased risk in gout.
"Our findings indicate that the link between fructose-rich beverages and the risk of gout is comparable to alcoholic beverages, which are well-known causes of gout. Physicians and patients should be aware of this link, as the current lifestyle recommendations for gout prevention almost exclusively focus on reducing purine and alcohol," said lead author Hyon Choi.