Caffeinated Drinks Linked to Gout Attacks

November 8/Washington/Hindustan Times -- People who drink caffeinated drinks are at an increased risk of recurrent gout attacks, suggests a new study.

Long-term caffeine intake has been associated with a decreased risk for gout attacks. However, in the short-term, caffeine has been found to increase uric acid, which can potentially trigger an attack.

In a study, researchers studied 633 participants who had experienced a gout attack within one year of the study to compare the amount of caffeinated beverage consumption during periods of gout attacks to periods without attacks.

They noted the amount of caffeine (e.g., coffee, tea, other caffeinated beverages) and non-caffeinated beverages (e.g., non-caffeinated coffee, tea, sodas, juices) each participant consumed during a 24-hour period before a gout attack as well as during a 24-hour period without a gout attack.

Among these participants with gout both with irregular daily caffeinated beverage consumption and increased intake of caffeinated beverages in the prior 24 hours were at a higher risk for recurrent gout attacks.

For example, consuming three or four more servings of caffeinated beverages in the prior 24 hours was associated with 40-80% increased risk of recurrent gout attack.

"In this study, we found that intermittent increased caffeinated beverage intake-such as caffeinated coffee, tea, or soda-was associated with an increased risk of gout attacks even after taking into account all other fluid intake," said Tuhina Neogi of the Boston University School of Medicine and lead investigator in the study.

"In contrast, non-caffeinated coffee, tea, soda or juices were not associated with an increased risk of gout attacks. These findings suggest that episodic increases in consumption of caffeinated beverages can trigger gout attacks in the short-term," added Neogi.

From the November 22, 2010, Prepared Foods E-dition