Study of 16 670 individual genomes pointed to genetics as the leading cause of gout – an inflammatory disease characterized by urine crystal formation in various tissues.

Researchers used genomic data linked with diet description and lifestyle habits. All analyzed individuals were healthy, but their levels of serum urate (a molecule highly associated with gout development) were explained in 23,9% by genomic variation. In contrast, common perception about an association of a diet and gout was discarded, as it explained only 0,3% of cases.

As Tanya Mayor writes:

“Gout, is that genetic?” A very definite yes. Gout is genetic, and “drinking too much beer” has very little influence on serum urate.

The findings need further evaluation in patients with gout, but it already points to an important role of the inheritance of the risk of developing the disease.

More: “Evaluation of the diet wide contribution to serum urate levels: meta-analysis of population based cohorts”, T. Major et al., 2018, doi:10.1136/bmj.k3951.