Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world and may affect the risk of gout via various mechanisms. We prospectively evaluated the relationship between coffee intake and the risk of incident gout in a large cohort of men.
Over a 12-year period, we studied 45,869 men with no history of gout at baseline. Intake of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, tea, and total caffeine was assessed every 4 years through validated questionnaires. We used a supplementary questionnaire to ascertain whether participants met the American College of Rheumatology survey criteria for gout.
We documented 757 confirmed incident cases of gout. Increasing coffee intake was inversely associated with the risk of gout. The multivariate relative risks (RRs) for incident gout according to coffee consumption categories (0, <1, 1–3, 4–5, and ≥6 cups per day) were 1.00, 0.97, 0.92, 0.60 (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.41–0.87), and 0.41 (95% CI 0.19–0.88), respectively (P for trend = 0.009). For decaffeinated coffee, the multivariate RRs according to consumption categories (0, <1, 1–3, and ≥4 cups per day) were 1.00, 0.83, 0.67 (95% CI 0.54–0.82), and 0.73 (95% CI 0.46–1.17), respectively (P for trend = 0.002). Total caffeine from all sources and tea intake were not associated with the risk of gout.
These prospective data suggest that long-term coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of incident gout.