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. 2012 Dec;64(12):4004-11.
doi: 10.1002/art.34677.

Cherry Consumption and Decreased Risk of Recurrent Gout Attacks

Free PMC article

Cherry Consumption and Decreased Risk of Recurrent Gout Attacks

Yuqing Zhang et al. Arthritis Rheum. .
Free PMC article


Objective: To study the relationship between cherry intake and the risk of recurrent gout attacks among individuals with gout.

Methods: We conducted a case-crossover study to examine the associations of a set of putative risk factors with recurrent gout attacks. Individuals with gout were prospectively recruited and followed up online for 1 year. Participants were asked to provide the following information regarding gout attacks: the onset date of the gout attack, symptoms and signs, medications (including antigout medications), and exposure to potential risk factors (including daily intake of cherries and cherry extract) during the 2-day period prior to the gout attack. We assessed the same exposure information over 2-day control periods. We estimated the risk of recurrent gout attacks related to cherry intake using conditional logistic regression. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated.

Results: Our study included 633 individuals with gout. Cherry intake over a 2-day period was associated with a 35% lower risk of gout attacks compared with no intake (multivariate OR 0.65 [95% CI 0.50-0.85]). Cherry extract intake showed a similar inverse association (multivariate OR 0.55 [95% CI 0.30-0.98]). The effect of cherry intake persisted across subgroups stratified by sex, obesity status, purine intake, alcohol use, diuretic use, and use of antigout medications. When cherry intake was combined with allopurinol use, the risk of gout attacks was 75% lower than during periods without either exposure (OR 0.25 [95% CI 0.15-0.42]).

Conclusion: These findings suggest that cherry intake is associated with a lower risk of gout attacks.


Figure 1
Figure 1. Case-Crossover Study Design and Timing of Exposure Measurements in Relation to Gout Attacks
Recurrent gout attacks could occur anytime during a 1-year follow-up period in a given patient. Hazard periods refer to the 2-day periods prior to recurrent gout attack. Up to four control periods were selected from the intercritical period every 3 months during the 1-year of follow-up. Exposure to cherry intake and other time-varying factors (potential confounders) were compared between hazard and control periods. The current study spanned February 2003 to February 2010. Horizontal time axis is not drawn to scale, which is reflected by the dotted line.

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