A new study has suggested that sugar-sweetened beverages may raise the risk of gout in women. Hyon Choi, et al., “Fructose-Rich Beverages and Risk of Gout in Women,” The Journal of the American Medical Association, November 10, 2010. Boston University and Harvard researchers examined data on nearly 79,000 U.S. women with no history of gout who participated in the 22-year Nurses’ Health Study.

Compared to women who drank less than one serving of sugary beverages or orange juice per month, the study found that women who drank (i) one serving of sweetened soft drink per day had a 74 percent increased risk of gout, (ii) at least two servings of sweetened soft drinks per day had more than double the risk of gout; (iii) one serving of orange juice per day were 41 percent more likely to develop gout; and (iv) two or more glasses of orange juice per day had more than twice the risk of developing gout. Researchers concluded, however, that although consumption of fructose-rich beverages was associated with an increased risk of gout in women, the risk “is likely modest given the low incidence rate among women.”