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January 19, 1963


JAMA. 1963;183(3):203. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700030079017

The assumed connection between the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the appearance of gout in aging men has been variously explained. The tendency at present is to seek an explanation in terms of enzymes, to seek to identify some chemical reaction in which the metabolism of ethyl alcohol becomes somehow involved in the metabolism of purines so as to aggravate an underlying maladjustment and bring on overt symptoms.

It has happened before, in the history of medicine, that explanations have been proposed for a phenomenon which was found, later on, not to exist. Therefore, before explaining the aggravation of gout by the ingestion of ethanol, it is well to inquire whether the assumed aggravation is a demonstrated fact. Textbooks state that patients with chronic alcoholism are especially susceptible to gout, that it is frequently found among employees of restaurants, hotels, inns, taverns, and breweries, that it is found much less

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