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Dose-response relationship between alcohol drinking and gout risk: do subtypes of alcoholic beverages make a difference?

OBJECTIVE: Although previous studies have explored the association of drinking with gout risk, the dose-response relationship was uncertain and the evidence between subtypes of alcoholic beverages and gout risk was limited.

METHODS: The weekly alcoholic beverage consumption in the United Kingdom Biobank (UKB) was collected and calculated. The Cox regression model was applied to assess the impact of alcohol drinking and its subtypes on gout risk by calculating the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). Besides, the restricted cubic splines were used to estimate the dose-response relationship between alcoholic drinking and gout risk. To evaluate the robustness, we performed subgroup analysis across various demographic characteristics.

RESULTS: During a mean follow-up period of 11.70 years, a total of 5,728 newly incident gout cases were diagnosed among 331,865 participants. We found that light alcohol drinking was linked to a slight decrease in gout incidence among females (HR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.65 to 0.94, P=0.01), whereas it showed no significant association in males. Moreover, the dose-response relationship showed that light red wine and fortified wine could reduce the gout risk, while beer, champagne plus white wine and spirits promoted the gout risk at any dose.

CONCLUSION: Our study suggested a J-shaped dose-response relationship of drinking with gout risk in females rather than males. For specific alcoholic beverages, light consumption of red wine and fortified wine was associated with reduced gout risk. These findings offer new insights into the roles of alcoholic beverages in gout, while further validation is warranted.

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