Gout | Causes & Risk Factors


Who can develop gout?

If you eat a lot of foods that are rich in purines, you may be at an increased risk for gout. Some of these foods are salmon, sardines, organ meats, asparagus, mushrooms and herring.

You are more likely to develop gout if you’re overweight, drink excessive amounts of alcohol or have high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure. Men develop gout more often than women. Women are more likely to develop gout after menopause. Gout is also hereditary (which means it runs in families).

Medicines that may cause gout include the following:

  • Certain diuretics (“water pills”) used to treat high blood pressure
  • Niacin (a B-complex vitamin)
  • Aspirin (taken in low doses)
  • Cyclosporine, which is used to prevent the body from rejecting a new organ after transplant surgery
  • Some drugs used to treat cancer
  • Pyrazinamide and ethambutol, which are used to treat tuberculosis


Diagnosis and Management of Gout by JR Pittman, Pharm.D. and MH Bross, M.D. (American Family Physician April 01, 1999, http://www.aafp.org/afp/990401ap/1799.html)

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 07/13
Created: 09/00