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Kidney disease: Does gout increase risk?


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Islamabad, September 01: Building on previous findings, a new study concludes that people with gout are more likely to develop kidney disease. The authors believe that the results offer new ways to reduce the risk of chronic kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long term condition, characterized by reduced kidney function.
CKD impacts an estimated 14% of people in the United States.
Researchers have already pinned down a number of risk factors for CKD, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking.
However, as the authors of the most recent study explain, “There is increasing interest by the scientific community in the role of novel risk factors.”
The latest research, published in BMJ Open, investigates the potential role of gout as a risk factor for CKD.
Gout and the kidney
Earlier studies have identified links between gout and kidney function. For instance, one paper, published in 2012, found that poor kidney function was a risk factor for gout.
Other studies, in animal models, have shown that increased uric acid in the blood has the potential to damage the kidneys.
Previous research has also highlighted a relationship between raised uric acid levels and kidney function. For instance, one study involving people with hyperuricemia found that taking drugs that reduce levels of uric acid also reduced the severity of kidney dysfunction.
‘Astonishing’ findings
As part of the analysis, the scientists controlled for several factors that might otherwise influence the results, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, drugs that impact kidney function, smoking status, and alcohol use.
Even after accounting for these factors, the results were significant.
“While we always believed that high levels of uric acid might be bad for kidneys and that patients with gout may have a higher risk of kidney failure, we were quite surprised by the magnitude of the risk imposed by gout in these patients,” explains lead author Prof. Austin Stack from the University of Limerick, in Ireland.

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