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Link between Gout and Alcohol

separator People have long suspected that drinking alcohol increases the risk of developing gout, but there was never any real proof. But last month, scientists published an article in the journal The Lancet showing that the link does, in fact, exist.

Gout is a form of arthritis. It most often affects a big toe. Deposits of uric acid crystals in the joint or tendon cause inflammation and often severe pain.

The study showed that non-alcoholic components in beer and hard liquor can bring on attacks of gout. Study participants who drank two or more 12-ounce cans or bottles of any kind of beer per day were 2.5 times more likely to develop gout than people who drank no beer. Participants who had two daily drinks that contained a shot of hard liquor increased their risk by 1.6 times. Drinking wine, on the other hand, did not show an increased risk.

The Lancet, 17 April 2004.
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