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Gout pushes up kidney disease risks, study says

By Tauren Dyson
Gout pushes up kidney disease risks, study says
People with gout have nearly a 30 percent higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease than people without gout, a new study says. In addition, those with gout who receive dialysis or need a kidney transplant have more than a 200 percent higher chance of kidney failure than those without gout. Photo courtesy of HealthDay News

Aug. 28 (UPI) -- People with gout have nearly a 30 percent higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease than people without gout, a new study says.

In addition, those with gout who receive dialysis or need a kidney transplant have more than a 200 percent higher chance of kidney failure than those without gout, according to research published Wednesday in BMJ Open.

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Gout is inflammatory arthritis that causes uric acid to build up in the joints, often leading to extreme pain and even debilitation for some.

"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," study author Austin Stack, a researcher at University of Limerick in Ireland, said in a news release. "We were particularly interested in the risk of advanced kidney disease, as these patients in general have a higher risk of kidney failure and death."

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The researchers looked at data for nearly 69,000 gout patients from another UK-based study to assess their risk of advanced chronic kidney disease. They compared that data to 554,964 patients without gout.

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Diabetes, eating a lot of seafood and meat, drinking alcohol and obesity are all risk factors for gout, according to the Mayo Clinic.

According to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 4 percent of U.S. adults have gout. Over 661,000 people in the United States have kidney failure, including 468,000 on dialysis.

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"The result of this new research suggests that gout may also play an important role in the progression of kidney disease," Stack said. "The identification of gout as a potential risk factor opens up new opportunities for the prevention of kidney disease and its consequences."

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