(HealthDay News) – Patients with gout can be nearly five-fold more likely to have gout attacks if they eat purine-rich foods such as meat, seafood, mushrooms, and spinach, with animal sources posing a greater risk than plant sources.

Over the course of one year, Yuqing Zhang, ScD, from the Boston University School of Medicine, and colleagues asked 633 patients with gout to report clinical signs and symptoms, medications, and daily intake of various purine-containing foods in the two days before their gout attacks.

The researchers found that, compared with the lowest quintile of total purine intake, the risk of recurrent gout attacks increased with increasing total purine intake, up to an adjusted odds ratio (OR) of 4.76 for the highest quintile of intake. The increased risk was lower for purine intake from plant sources (OR, 1.39 for highest quintile) compared with animal sources (OR, 2.41 for highest quintile).

“The study findings suggest that acute purine intake increases the risk of recurrent gout attacks by almost five-fold among gout patients,” Zhang and colleagues conclude. “Avoiding or reducing [the] amount of purine-rich foods intake, especially of animal origin, may help reduce the risk of gout attacks.”

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