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Abstract

Objective

Sugar-sweetened soft drinks contain large amounts of fructose, which may significantly increase serum uric acid levels and the risk of gout. Our objective was to evaluate the relationship between sugar-sweetened soft drink intake, diet soft drink intake, and serum uric acid levels in a nationally representative sample of men and women.

Methods

Using data from 14,761 participants age ≥20 years from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (1988–1994), we examined the relationship between soft drink consumption and serum uric acid levels using linear regression. Additionally, we examined the relationship between soft drink consumption and hyperuricemia (serum uric acid level >7.0 mg/dl for men and >5.7 mg/dl for women) using logistic regression. Intake was assessed by a food-frequency questionnaire.

Results

Serum uric acid levels increased with increasing sugar-sweetened soft drink intake. After adjusting for covariates, serum uric acid levels associated with sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption categories (<0.5, 0.5–0.9, 1–3.9, and ≥4 servings/day) were greater than those associated with no intake by 0.08, 0.15, 0.33, and 0.42 mg/dl, respectively (95% confidence interval 0.11, 0.73; P < 0.001 for trend). The multivariate odds ratios for hyperuricemia according to the corresponding sweetened soft drink consumption levels were 1.01, 1.34, 1.51, and 1.82, respectively (P = 0.003 for trend). Diet soft drink consumption was not associated with serum uric acid levels or hyperuricemia (multivariate P > 0.13 for trend).

Conclusion

These findings from a nationally representative sample of US adults suggest that sugar-sweetened soft drink consumption is associated with serum uric acid levels and frequency of hyperuricemia, but diet soft drink consumption is not.