(HealthDay News) – Having an increased body mass index (BMI) correlates with increased prevalence of gout in adults.

Stephen P. Juraschek, of the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues examined the prevalence of gout among overweight, obese, and morbidly obese sectors of the U.S. population (aged >20 years) using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) in 1988–1994 and 2007–2010.

The researchers found that the crude prevalence of gout was 1–2, 3, 4–5, and 5–7%, respectively, for participants with normal BMI, overweight, class I obesity, and class II or III obesity. After adjustment for demographic and obesity-related disorders, comparing the highest to normal BMI category, the prevalence ratio was 2.46 in 1988–1994 and 2.21 in 2007–2010, with the prevalence ratio increasing with successively higher BMI. In both NHANES, a 1 unit higher BMI correlated with a 5% greater prevalence of gout in the average 5-foot, 9-inch adult, even after adjustment for serum uric acid (P<0.001).

“In conclusion, successive categories of BMI are associated in a dose-response fashion with a higher prevalence of gout,” the authors write. “Health care providers treating obese, or even overweight, patients should be cognizant of the elevated burden of gout among these segments of the U.S. population.”

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