New Culprit For Recurrent Gout Flare Ups

Caffeine consumption may trigger a gout attack

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Long term caffeine intake has been associated with a reduced risk for gout attacks. But what about the short-term? New findings show that the relationship between caffeine and gout isn't so black and white.

Researchers recently re-evaluated whether drinking caffeinated beverages is associated with the risk of repeated gout attacks.

They found drinking three or four more servings of caffeinated sodas in a 24 hour period led to a 40 to 80 percent increased risk for a gout attack.

"Loading up on caffeine to pull an all-nighter is not a good idea for gout."

Tuhina Neogi, MD, PhD, FRCPC; associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and lead investigator in the study, reported that occasional irregular increased caffeinated beverage intake, like caffeinated coffee, tea, or soda does lead to an increased risk of gout attacks. 

Conversely, non-caffeinated coffee, tea, soda or juices were not associated with an increased risk of gout attacks. These findings suggest that irregular increases in consumption of caffeinated beverages can trigger gout attacks in the short-term. 

Persons should manage their caffeine intake better to avoid the risk of gout flare-up.

The Study

  • 663 participants with gout who had an attack within the past year were recruited online and asked to provide access to medical records pertaining to their gout diagnosis
  • Data was obtained on the amount of caffeine consumed over the 24-hour period before a gout attack and over a 24-hour period.  The relationship between caffeinated beverage intake (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5-6, >6 servings per 24-hours) and risk of recurrent gout attacks was examined
  • The same analysis was conducted for non-caffeinated beverage intake
  • The study did not take into account the amount of sugar intake by each group; follow-up studies are needed
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Review Date: 
May 3, 2011
Last Updated:
May 4, 2011