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Carol Eustice

Researchers Identify 18 Genetic Variants Related to Gout

By January 5, 2013

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Gout is considered the most common type of inflammatory arthritis. The disease affects up to 2% of the world's population. Have you ever wondered why some people are more at risk for developing gout than others? According to study results published in Nature Genetics, researchers may have discovered important genetic data that would help explain.

Gout has long been linked to increased levels of uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia). Elevated uric acid in the blood can cause crystals to form in the joints and tissues, causing intense pain and swelling. Researchers, who analyzed genetic data from more than 140,000 people who were involved in more than 70 studies conducted in the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia, identified 18 new genetic variants related to increased levels of uric acid in the blood. The findings hopefully will lead to greater understanding of gout and new ways to prevent and treat the disease.

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