DASH diet lowers gout risk

A well-known diet used to lower blood pressure could also lower the risk of gout in men, researchers say.

The prospective analysis of over 44,000 men aged 40 to 75 from the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study found those who consumed the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet high in fruit and vegetables, nuts and legumes were less likely to have gout compared to people with a diet high in red and processed meats, refined grains and sugar.

Over a 26 year follow-up 1731 men were diagnosed with gout. Men whose diets were more similar to DASH had a reduced risk for gout (adjusted relative risk for extreme fifths 0.68 (95% CI 0.57 to 0.80, P value for trend = <.001) after adjusting for confounders such as history of hypertension, BMI and alcohol consumption, reported the researchers in The BMJ.

Those with a more Western diet were at elevated risk of developing gout (adjusted relative risk for extreme fifths, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.16 – 1.74; P value for trend = .005).

“The DASH diet could offer an attractive preventive dietary approach for the risk of gout,” the study authors concluded.

The dietary approach would be particularly relevant for people with gout and hypertension or cardiovascular disease, they said.

However, they cautioned that as the study population was mostly white male health professionals the findings may not apply to other ethnic or socioeconomic groups.

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