Objective: This is a population survey conducted in 1991-92 among residents aged > or =30 years in Kin-Hu, Kinmen, with a 77.7% response rate to study the prevalence of hyperuricemia and hyperuricemia associated gout. A stratified analysis based on sex and age was used to assess the interaction and analyze the associated risk factors for hyperuricemia and gout.
Methods: Hyperuricemia was defined as uric acid > or =7.0 mg/dl for men and > or =6.0 mg/dl for women. Gout was clinically diagnosed by a senior rheumatologist based on patient's history and examination according to the clinical criteria of Wallace. Basic demographic and lifestyle variables as well as biochemical data were collected.
Results: The prevalence of hyperuricemia was 25.8% (391/1515) in men and 15.0% (250/1670) in women. The prevalence of gout among hyperuricemic subjects was 11.5% for men and 3% for women. According to age spectrum, the risk factor for hyperuricemia was hyperlipidemia in young adults (30-39 yrs); lifestyle and some clinical syndromes played a significant role in middle aged persons (40-59 yrs). The different risk factors between the sexes in middle age were alcohol consumption effect in men and menopause effect in women. Impaired renal function and use of diuretics became the important factors in the elderly (> or =60 yrs). The risk factors for gout among either the general population or subjects with hyperuricemia were concentration of serum uric acid, alcohol consumption, and central obesity.
Conclusion: Risk factors for hyperuricemia tended to be different with respect to sex and age. Alcohol consumption and central obesity were independent predictors of gout among hyperuricemic subjects irrespective of uric acid level.