Vegetarian diet protects against gouty arthritis in Asians

27 Apr 2023
Vegetarian diet protects against gouty arthritis in Asians

Individuals who follow a diet that consists of foods that come mostly from plants appear to be at lower risk of developing gouty arthritis as compared with those with a nonvegetarian diet, as shown in a study from Taiwan.

For the study, researchers used data from the MJ Health Survey Data and MJ Biodata 2000, which were then linked with the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) and the National Registration of Death (2000-2018). Dietary information was obtained from the MJ Health Survey Data, and the incidence of gouty arthritis was confirmed using the NHIRD.

Cox regression models were used to estimate the risk of incident gouty arthritis, and the differences between vegetarian and nonvegetarian participants were compared using the Kaplan–Meier survival curve and log-rank test.

The study sample consisted of 76,972 participants (mean age 41.65 years), of which 37,297 (48.46 percent) were men and 2,488 (3.23 percent) were vegetarians. The mean baseline uric acid level was 6.14 mg/dL.

Over a mean follow-up of 19 years, 16,897 participants developed gouty arthritis, including 16,447 (22.08 percent) nonvegetarians and 450 (18.9 percent) vegetarians. The Kaplan–Meier survival curves showed a significant difference in the incidence of developing gouty arthritis between vegetarians and nonvegetarians (log-rank p<0.001).

A vegetarian diet was associated with a 13-percent lower risk of incident gouty arthritis compared with a nonvegetarian diet (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.87, 95 percent confidence interval, 0.78–0.98; p=0.02).

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