To determine the prevalence of hyperuricaemia, gout and gout-related factors in Central Taiwan Atayal aborigines, 342 subjects over 18 yr old were interviewed and examined. A questionnaire was designed to screen for signs and symptoms of gout and gout-related risk factors. Serum uric acid, triglyceride and creatinine were measured in all subjects. The prevalence of hyperuricaemia was 41.4% and that of gout 11.7% in aborigines. The uric acid level was 7.9+/-1.7 mg/dl in males and 5.7+/-1.5 in females, and differed significantly under age 70 yr (P < 0.001). Significantly increased triglyceride, creatinine and alcoholism was found in gouty patients compared with non-gouty patients. In 40 cases with gout, 54% had tophi and 35% of their first-degree relatives had gout. The high prevalence of hyperuricaemia and gout in Taiwan Atayal aborigines, a significant family predisposition, increased creatinine level and alcoholism suggest multiple factors affecting the hyperuricaemia.