A wide variety of factors can increase your risk of gout.

Age/Gender

Men are more likely than women to have symptoms of gout, and most are diagnosed between 40 and 50 years old. In women, the disease is most prevalent after menopause. Gout is rare in children and young adults.

Family history

People with blood relatives who have gout are more likely to be diagnosed themselves.

Medications

There are several medications that can increase the risk of gout. These include:

  • daily low-dose aspirin, commonly used to prevent heart attack and stroke
  • thiazide diuretics, used to treat high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, and other conditions
  • anti-rejection drugs such as cyclosporine, taken after organ transplants and for some rheumatologic conditions
  • levodopa, used to treat Parkinson's disease
  • niacin, used to increase high density lipoproteins (HDL) in blood

Diet

A high dietary intake of purines is associated with gout. Purines are found in the following foods:

  • red meat
  • organ meats like kidneys, liver, and sweetbreads
  • oily fish like sardines
  • anchovies, and herring
  • certain vegetables including asparagus and cauliflower
  • beans
  • mushrooms

Alcohol Consumption

Moderate to heavy drinking—more than two drinks per day for men or one per day for women—increases the risk of gout. Beer has been especially linked to gout attacks.

Lead Exposure

Exposure to high levels of lead is also associated with gout.

Other Health Conditions

People who suffer from the following disease and conditions are more likely to have gout.