Gout is a painful form of arthritis that is related to an unhealthy accumulation of uric acid, which is a waste product in the body. High levels of uric acid (>7.0 in men and 5.7 in women) put patients at risk for developing gout and to some degree for heart disease as well. During a 15-year period ending in 2004, the risk of gout in males increased from 3.8% to 5.9%. There was a lesser but still significant increase in women. Only 5% of those who have gout are treated for it. It is not clear why the increase, but we can speculate that the cause is either more obesity or higher levels of toxic chemicals in the environment. Ask your doctor for a blood uric acid test to find out if you have it. If you do, lots of cherry juice is often an effective treatment.
See the National Health and Nutrition Survey (click here) (NHANES 2008).