Gout Risk Factors Typically Similar for Men and Women

a couple sitting on the couch holding hands
a couple sitting on the couch holding hands
This systematic review identified several risk factors for the development of gout, with the degree of risk between the sexes predominantly being consistent.

The risk factors for gout do not significantly differ between men and women, according to results published in Advances in Rheumatology.

However, the results indicated that there were 2 exceptions: metabolic syndrome increasing gout risk in men and fish and shellfish consumption increasing the risk in women.

The researchers searched for relevant articles in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, and the Cochrane Library from their inception to March 2019. They examined the following risk factors for gout: age, ethnicity, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, metabolic syndrome, body mass index, waist and chest circumference, waist-to-hip ratio, weight change, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemias, renal disease, psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis, hypertension, diuretic use, antidiabetic medication, and the consumption of alcohol, meat, seafood, dairy products, purine-rich vegetables, coffee, and fructose. Studies qualified for inclusion if the researchers found ≥1 risk factor in either sex in the general population or in primary care.

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They identified 33 articles that met the criteria, including 20 that directly compared risk factors for gout by sex, 10 that used men-only samples, and 3 that used women-only samples.

Studies that compared risk factors between sexes found that most risk factors had a similar effect on incident gout risk regardless of sex.

The results indicated that metabolic syndrome in men increased the risk for incident gout (hazard ratio [HR], 1.37; 95% CI, 1.20-1.58), although it did not increase the risk in women >50 years (HR, 1.15; 95% CI, 0.85-1.54) or ≤50 years (HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 0.76-2.17). However, compared with men, women had a higher associated risk for gout with increased fish and shellfish consumption (HR, 1.02 [95% CI, 0.86-1.22] and 1.36 [95% CI, 1.12-1.65], respectively).

“Far more research into the risk factors for gout which includes women is required to be confident that no further differences exist,” the researchers wrote.


Evans PL, Prior JA, Belcher J, Hay, CA, Mallen CD, Roddy, E. Gender-specific risk factors for gout: a systematic review of cohort studies. Adv Rheumatol. 2019;59:24.