DASH diet linked to lower gout risk in men
medwireNews: The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet is “an attractive preventive dietary approach” for men at risk for gout, researchers report.
Hyon Choi (Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA) and colleagues analyzed data from 44,444 men with no history of gout at baseline who participated in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.
Each participant was assigned a DASH dietary pattern score – based on high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and wholegrains, combined with low intake of sodium, sweetened beverages, and red and processed meat – in addition to a Western dietary pattern score, which was based on high intake of red and processed meat, refined grains, and sugar.
A total of 1731 participants developed gout over 26 years of follow-up. After adjustment for factors including age, total energy intake, diuretic use, alcohol and coffee intake, and history of renal failure, participants in the highest fifth of the DASH dietary pattern score were a significant 32% less likely to develop gout than those in the lowest fifth.
These findings suggest that the DASH diet’s effects “of lowering uric acid levels in individuals with hyperuricemia translates to a lower risk of gout,” write the study authors in The BMJ.
They note that if the findings are confirmed in future interventional studies, this dietary approach “would be particularly relevant to patients with gout who have hypertension and cardiovascular disease, given its antihypertensive and cardiovascular disease benefits.”
Conversely, Choi and colleagues found that consumption of a Western diet was associated with a higher gout risk. Men in the highest fifth of the Western dietary pattern score had a significant 42% increased risk for gout compared with those in the lowest fifth after adjustment for potentially confounding factors.
“This provides the first prospective evidence that the Western diet, reflecting fast foods abundantly available in Western countries, can explain the increasing prevalence of gout observed in such settings,” say the authors.
“Increased purine intake from animal sources and insulin resistance resulting in anti-uricosuric effects are likely mechanisms of this diet leading to hyperuricemia and eventually gout,” they add.
And the team concludes: “Replacing the Western diet with a healthful eating approach such as the DASH diet could help prevent the rising burden of gout, in addition to other expected public health benefits (eg, hypertension benefits).”
By Claire Barnard
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