Scientists ID New Genetic Connection for Gout
FRIDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- To help explain why the debilitating arthritic condition known as gout strikes some people and not others, a new genetic analysis has identified 18 new mutations that appear to boost blood levels of uric acid, the key trigger for a gout attack.
The current effort involved an analysis of data concerning more than 140,000 people, gleaned from 70 independent studies conducted in Europe, the United States, Japan and Australia.
"Abnormal levels of uric acid have been associated with various common diseases and conditions, but causal relationships are not always clear," said study author Dr. Veronique Vitart of the Medical Research Council Human Genetics Unit at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, in a school news release. "Gaining insight into the genetic components of uric acid levels offers a very useful tool to tackle these issues and to further our understanding of these conditions."
The study appeared in the Dec. 23 issue of Nature Genetics.
The authors noted that gout has been called the "disease of kings," based on the belief that rich foods (consumed by rich people) are the principle culprit behind the onset of often immobilizing attacks.
Gout affects roughly 2 percent of the population. High levels of uric acid from a wide variety of foods and alcohol accumulate and form into hard crystals, which then lodge themselves into joints and tissues. The result: extreme pain and swelling.
Researchers hope that any fresh insight into the role of genetics in gout incidence might pave the way for better treatment and prevention.
"Existing therapies to avoid attacks of gout sometimes cause side effects," study co-author Mark Caulfield, at the William Harvey Research Institute at Queen Mary University of London, said in the news release. "[So] our findings identify new potential mechanisms for gout and offer opportunities for new therapies which may improve prevention of this debilitating condition in the future."
For more on gout, visit the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
Health News TodayFeed
- Epilepsy Surgery Gets High Marks From Patients in Survey02/27/2015
- Seasonal Flu Vaccine Even Less Effective Than Thought: CDC02/27/2015
- Get Checked for Diabetes While Getting Your Teeth Cleaned?02/26/2015
- Rear End Takes a Front Seat in Plastic Surgery Offices02/26/2015
- Poor Response to Statins May Mean Clogged Arteries02/26/2015
- When children show signs of an eating disorder
- 7 proven treatments for arthritis pain
- Why women can't sleep
- What pain meds are OK if you're on prednisone?
- Teenage depression: What you need to know
- Top forms of birth control
- Is medication causing your weight gain?
- The 90-day guide to getting pregnant
Take a Personalized Health Test
What's Causing Your Symptoms?
15 Ways To Get Better Medicine
People who are actively involved in their medical care stay healthier, recover quicker when they're ill, and live longer, healthier lives.