Frequently Asked Questions

3. What are the risk factors for gout?

These risk factors are associated with gout.

  • Genetics. Many people with gout have a family history of the disease.
  • Gender and age. Gout is more common in men than in women and more common in adults than in children.
  • Weight. Being overweight increases the risk of developing gout because there is more tissue available for turnover or breakdown, which leads to excess uric acid production. (High levels of uric acid in the blood can lead to gout.)
  • Alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to a buildup of uric acid because alcohol interferes with the removal of uric acid from the body.
  • Diet. Eating too many foods that are rich in purines such as liver, dried beans and peas, anchovies and gravies, can cause or aggravate gout in some people.
  • Lead exposure. In some cases, exposure to lead in the environment can cause gout.