WEEKLY UPDATE: October 11, 2019
SUMMARY: Identification of 147 novel genetic variants associated with gout development.
DESCRIPTION: Uric acid is a waste product that is produced as the body digests some foods. Normally, uric acid travels through the blood until it gets filtered out by the kidneys, ultimately getting excreted in urine. When the body does not efficiently process uric acid, it can accumulate in joints and kidneys causing gout and kidney stones. A person’s risk of uric acid accumulation is known to be heritable, yet few genetic loci have been found. This genome-wide association study examined over 450,000 individuals of African American, East Asian, European, Hispanic, and South Asian ancestry. It identified 183 genetic regions, of which 147 are novel, that are correlated with an increased risk of gout. These variants collectively explain an esimated 8% of the heritability in uric acid production. Some of these variants occur in the solute carrier family of genes that are responsible for transporting molecules, including uric acid across cells.
DID YOU KNOW? Foods known to produce high levels of uric acid include liver, fish, sugary drinks, and beer. Avoiding excessive consumption of these may help to prevent attacks of gout. [SOURCE]