A case-control study of the association of diet and obesity with gout in Taiwan

Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Oct;78(4):690-701. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/78.4.690.


Background: Gout has been a significant metabolic disorder for Chinese men in Taiwan; however, there is insufficient information on diet and lifestyle risk factors in this population.

Objective: The purpose of this case-control study was to explore potential dietary and lifestyle risk factors associated with gout in Chinese men.

Design: Between 1998 and 1999, we recruited and conducted face-to-face interviews with patients from outpatient clinics in Taipei who had incident gout (n = 92) and with their healthy coworkers (controls; n = 92).

Results: Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, waist-to-hip ratio, waist-to-height ratio, and body mass index were significantly higher in cases than in controls. Family histories of gout and diabetes mellitus were strong risk factors for gout. Frequencies of vegetable and fruit consumption were significantly lower in cases than in controls. Logistic regression analyses showed that high alcohol intake and low intakes of fiber, folate, and vitamin C increased the risk of gout, but no association was found with purine intake. After covariates were controlled for, the adjusted odds ratios for the middle and highest tertiles of waist-to-height ratio (0.50-0.54 and >/==" BORDER="0"> 0.55, respectively) were 3.89 (95% CI: 1.32, 11.46) and 4.37 (1.18, 16.22), respectively, but no linear association was found for waist-to-hip ratio and waist circumference.

Conclusions: Consumption of alcohol, but not of purine, may be a significant dietary risk factor for gout. Food sources rich in dietary fiber, folate, and vitamin C, such as fruit and vegetables, protect against gout. Waist-to-height ratio, which indicates central obesity, has a significant linear effect on gout occurrence, independent of body mass index.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Mass Index
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet*
  • Gout / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Life Style*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Taiwan
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage


  • Vitamins