Are You Part of a Gout Cluster?
February 7, 2014 by Teresa.
Gout has often been referred to as the disease of kings, implying that it was caused by poor eating habits and an excessive lifestyle. However, research has confirmed that gout is hereditary. Who is most genetically predisposed to develop this painful disease?
Take a look at those closest to you!
That's right! A gout cluster within a family group is definitely worth taking note of, especially if you have close family members who have been diagnosed with gout.
There have been earlier studies that suggested that gout clusters occur within families, but this was usually considered a form of indirect evidence that genetics played a role in causing gout. The most recent study seems much more conclusive, however. Scientists at the University of Nottingham studied the population of Taiwan. This little country has more cases of gout than any other country in the world. What researchers discovered was that an individual with close relatives who has been diagnosed with gout is twice as likely as the normal population to develop the disease in the future.
Additionally, the more relatives that you have with gout, the higher the chances are that you will, too. The fact is that if you have a gout cluster in your families, especially among first-degree relatives, beware.
What about environmental causes?
Environmental factors still play a significant role in causing gout and when added to any genetic issues can create an even bigger problem. Yet, there does seem to be a difference in how genetics and environment increase the risk for women versus men. The influence of genetics appears to be considerably higher for men than women.
Gout is a seriously painful disease affecting the joints. But that's not all! It has also been associated with other major physical problems such as heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. It is becoming clearer and clearer that both genetics and environmental factors play a role in predicting the possibilities of developing gout as well as establishing the need to embrace lifestyles that could actually help to prevent or manage the disease.
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