WebMD Health News
Louise Chang, MD
Sept. 30, 2008 -- New discoveries about the genetic roots of gout
may lead to new gout treatments and new tests to gauge a person's risk of
Researchers including Abbas Dehghan, MD, of Erasmus Medical Center in the
Netherlands report that news in tomorrow's online edition of The
Dehghan's team studied gene data from three long-term health studies that
together included more than 26,700 participants in the U.S. and the
The key findings:
Each gene variant, by itself, carried a "modest" risk of gout, but
together, those variants drove gout risk up higher. The findings held
regardless of other factors that make gout more likely.
In their report, Dehghan and colleagues suggest that their genetic risk
score might help predict who will develop gout. The researchers also write that
the genes they identified "could be useful" in developing new drugs to
It's not clear if the genetic risk score will catch on, and scientists don't
yet know exactly what the two new gout genes do, but the discoveries may lead
to better understanding of gout, according to an editorial published with the
study. The editorialists included Martin Aringer, MD, of Germany's Technical
University of Dresden.
(What does gout look like? See WebMD's gout slide show.)
SOURCES:Dehghan, A. The Lancet, Oct. 1, 2008; online edition.Aringer, M. The Lancet, Oct. 1, 2008; online edition.
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