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Three Genes Associated with Higher Risk of Gout

Early and new treatments could emerge from a genetic risk score

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 1 (HealthDay News) -- There are three genes associated with increased susceptibility to gout, and calculating a genetic risk score could be the key to early treatment and new therapies, according to research published online Oct. 1 in The Lancet.

Abbas Dehghan, M.D., of Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues analyzed data from 7,699 participants in the Framingham cohort and 4,148 participants in the Rotterdam cohort. The researchers also replicated genome-wide significant single nucleotide polymorphisms for 11,024 white and 3,843 black participants in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study.

The investigators found that there was an association between gout and the gene SLC2A9, which is involved in urate transport in the kidney, and that two other genes, ABCG2 and SLC17A3, are also likely to be kidney urate transporters. In all three cohorts there was a graded association between uric acid levels, and therefore risk of gout, and presence of high-risk alleles, the research revealed.

"Our genetic risk score was associated with up to 40-fold increased risk of developing gout, which is substantially higher than that for environmental risk factors, suggesting that knowledge of genotype could help to identify individuals at risk of developing gout long before onset of clinical features of the disease," the authors note in a statement.

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