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Gout linked to red meat, sugar: study

Press Association logoPress Association 10/05/2017 Ella Pickover

A 'Western diet' high in red meat and processed food is associated with a higher risk of gout, a US and Canadian study has found.

Researchers discovered people are more likely to have the painful type of arthritis if they indulge in food like red and processed meats, soft drinks, French fries, sugar, sweets and desserts.

Meanwhile, people whose diet is rich in fruit, vegetables and whole grains are at a lower risk.

Gout, where small crystals form around the joints, affects one to two of every 100 people in the UK.

As part of the study published in The BMJ, scientists from the US and Canada analysed data on more than 44,000 men aged 40 to 75 with no previous history of gout.

During 26 years of follow-up, they completed detailed food questionnaires every four years.

The men were given scores based on dietary styles and how much they adhered to the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet - which has been designed to reduce blood pressure and includes a high intake of fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes, low-fat dairy products and whole grains.

Overall, 1,731 men developed gout during the follow-up period.

Experts found a score higher in DASH foods was associated with a lower risk for gout.

Contrarily, people who scored higher for a 'Western diet' were more likely to develop the condition.

"The DASH diet may provide an attractive preventive dietary approach for men at risk of gout," the authors concluded.

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