Background: Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and may affect the risk of gout via various mechanisms, but prospective data on the relation between coffee intake and the risk of incident gout are limited.
Design: Over a 26-y period, we prospectively examined the relation between coffee intake and risk of incident gout in 89,433 female participants in the Nurses' Health Study. We assessed the consumption of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea, and total caffeine in participants every 2-4 y through validated questionnaires. We used a supplementary questionnaire to ascertain whether participants met the survey criteria of the American College of Rheumatology for gout.
Results: During the 26 y of follow-up, we documented 896 confirmed incident cases of gout. There was an inverse association between higher coffee intake and the risk of gout. The multivariate relative risks (RRs) for incident gout according to coffee-consumption categories [ie, 0, 1-237, 238-947, and ≥948 mL coffee/d (237 mL = one 8-ounce cup)] were 1.00, 0.97, 0.78 (95% CI: 0.64, 0.95), and 0.43 (95% CI: 0.30, 0.61; P for trend < 0.0001), respectively. For decaffeinated coffee, the multivariate RRs according to consumption categories (0, 1-237, and ≥237 mL decaffeinated coffee/d) were 1.00, 1.02, and 0.77 (95% CI: 0.63, 0.95; P for trend = 0.02), respectively. There was an inverse association between total caffeine from all sources and the risk of gout; the multivariate RR of the highest quintile compared with the lowest quintile was 0.52 (95% CI: 0.41, 0.68; P for trend <0.0001).
Conclusion: These prospective data suggest that long-term coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of incident gout in women.