Existing user? Login


Raised urate levels more strongly linked to genetics than diet, study finds

While diet is commonly thought to be a major contributing factor in the variance of serum urate levels, study results suggest that the genetic contribution is more than 20% higher.

gout finger


It is widely accepted that diet makes a major contribution towards gout (pictured), but study results suggest that genes could have a bigger influence on its prevalence

Diet contributes much less towards the development of high serum urate levels than genetic factors, study results reported in The BMJ (10 October 2018) suggest[1].

Researchers used data from five cohort studies involving 16,760 people of European ancestry from the United States without existing kidney disease or gout. Using responses to validated food questionnaires, researchers examined the relationship between additional weekly portions of 63 individual foods and the patients’ serum urate levels.

The analysis identified seven foods associated with raised serum urate levels, including beer, liquor, wine, potato, poultry, soft drinks and meat, and eight associated with reduced levels of serum urate, including eggs, peanuts, cold cereal, skimmed milk, cheese, brown bread, margarine, and non-citrus fruits. 

Adherence to a healthy diet, such as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — or ‘DASH’ diet — and the Mediterranean diet, which is inspired by the eating habits of Greece, southern Italy and Spain, were also associated with lower serum urate levels. 

However, the contribution of any of these factors to the overall variance in serum urate levels was less than 1%. By contrast, the genetic contribution to the variance was estimated at 23.9%.

Gout is caused by chronically elevated urate levels, and it is widely accepted that diet makes a major contribution towards the disease. High urate levels are also associated with chronic kidney disease and hypertension. 

“Our results challenge widely held community perceptions that hyperuricaemia is primarily caused by diet, showing that genetic variants have a much greater contribution to hyperuricaemia in the general population than dietary exposure,” they concluded.

Citation: Clinical Pharmacist DOI: 10.1211/CP.2018.20205816

Have your say

For commenting, please login or register as a user and agree to our Community Guidelines. You will be re-directed back to this page where you will have the ability to comment.

Recommended from Pharmaceutical Press

  • Dietary Supplements Pocket Companion

    A pocket guide to the most commonly used dietary supplements, for the busy healthcare professional.

  • Lecture Notes in Pharmacy Practice

    A comprehensive study guide which summarises the basic principles in pharmacy practice. Clear, bulleted information for quick reference.

  • Traditional Medicine

    Covers the major traditional medicine systems. Gives information on philosophy, practice, safety, evidence and examples.

  • MCQs in Pharmacy Practice

    A study aid with 800 MCQs. Assess your knowledge, analytical skills, and ability to apply this knowledge base in clinical practice.

  • FASTtrack: Pharmacology

    FASTtrack: Pharmacology is a study guide providing an account of drug action, as well as dealing with molecular pharmacology at a more advanced level.


Search an extensive range of the world’s most trusted resources

Powered by MedicinesComplete
  • Print
  • Share
  • Comment
  • Save

Jobs you might like

Newsletter Sign-up

Want to keep up with the latest news, comment and CPD articles in pharmacy and science? Subscribe to our free alerts.

learn more