Sugar-sweetened soft drinks can significantly raise the risk of gout, researchers report, and that risk rises steadily with the amount consumed. Men who drank more than two servings a day were 85% more likely to develop gout than those who drank less than one serving a month, the study found. But diet beverages, which use artificial sweeteners, were not associated with gout. Researchers analyzed data from an ongoing longitudinal study that began in 1986. The 46,303 participants answered questionnaires about diet, medical history, and drugs every two years. At baseline, the men were between 40 and 75 years old with no history of gout. All were health-care professionals, and 91% were white. After 12 years of follow-up, 755 men developed gout. Men who drank five or six servings of sugared soda per week had an increased risk of 29%, compared with men who drank less than one serving per month. The risk rose to 45% for men who drank one serving a day and jumped to 85% for those who consumed two or more servings daily. These associations were independent of dietary and other risk factors for gout, such as BMI, age, hypertension, diuretic use, alcohol intake, and history of chronic renal failure, the researchers note (BMJ. 2008; 336: 309-312 ).