Gout, an inflammatory arthritis that causes painful swelling in the joints, is on the rise. What might cut the risk?

In 1986, scientists started tracking 44,654 men aged 40 to 75. By 2012, 1,741 of the men in the study had been diagnosed with gout.

What was linked to a higher or lower risk

Excess weight, alcohol, and diuretics were linked to a higher risk.

A DASH-like diet was linked to a lower risk. (A DASH diet is rich in vegetables and fruit and low in added sugars, includes low-fat dairy, and favors poultry, fish, and beans over red meat.)

Weight mattered the most. Men who had obesity had 2½ times the risk of men at the lower end of the normal weight range.

The authors estimated that 70 percent of the gout cases could have been prevented if the men were lean, drank only occasionally, took no diuretics, and ate a DASH-like diet.

What to do

Don’t stop taking diuretics without asking your doctor about alternatives.

Looking for more info on a DASH-like diet? Check out our guide.

Photo: stock.adobe.com/ThamKC.