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Scientists say gout may be genetic

3rd December 2013
New evidence suggests gout may run in family.

hand goutGout, the painful joint condition that has been historically associated with aristocracy and overindulgence, may be down to genetics, a new study suggests.

Researchers at Nottingham University have given new insights into the medical condition. The study, published in the journal, Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, shows that having a first-degree relative with gout will double your risk of developing it.

The scientific reason is due to monosodium urate crystals depositing on the joints because of high uric acid in the blood. The symptoms include excruciating pain and swelling in the joints.

The scientists studied the entire population of Taiwan - 23 million - where gout is most prevalent in the world. Lead researcher on the project, Dr Chang Fu Kuo, said: "Our results confirm the clinical belief that gout strongly clusters within families."

Professor Michael Doherty, Head of the Academic Rheumatology added: "Both genetic and environmental factors play a role in gout pathogenesis. Having an affected family member increases the risk but part of the risk comes from modifiable shared environmental factors such as diet and lifestyle."

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