Researchers report that in 2008 8.3 million Americans were subject to gout. That's a substantial rise from 2.7 percent in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
The findings are expected to be released this week at the meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.
Other research has shown that two of America's favorite beverages, coffee and sweetened drinks such as soda, may contribute to gout risk.
Gout is a painful form of arthritis caused by a buildup of uric acid.