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Is Gout Linked to Leukemia?



Studies are revealing there may be a link between leukemia and gout.

More Info: In 2009, the results of an extensive statistical study of gout patients in Sweden was shared in medical journals. Researchers combed through the incidence of cancer among nearly 17,000 gout patients admitted to hospitals in Sweden between 1965 and 1995. Among gout patients, there was an increased incidence of leukemia and many other forms of cancer including melanoma, colon cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, pancreas cancer and more.

Meanwhile, an equally far-reaching study looking into the genetic cause for gout, and thus, peripherally, leukemia, was undertaken by researchers at Johns Hopkins. They surveyed the genetic structure of some 12,000 individuals and made a breakthrough discovery in 2009. The gene they dubbed ABCG2 can lead to higher concentrations of blood urate that leads in turn to crystals in the joint tissue.

The Johns Hopkins study also involved animal models of gout, after which researchers relied on genetic engineering to determine how the ABCG2 gene might impact gout, the disease’s relationship to leukemia and many other ailments. In terms of the animal research, frog eggs were used as incubation environments for the gene, and were then enveloped in uric acid, the same substance that is also at the core of gout. Scientists then compared the rates of uric acid excretion for the normal ABCG2 gene and a mutated  form of the same gene. By comparing the respective results, they were able to make the breakthrough discovery about this gout causing gene.

As scientists continue to make progress with their research into gout, leukemia and links between these and other diseases, new drugs are hitting the market that address any or all of these areas. Biocryst Pharmaceuticals, a North Carolina based corporation, announced healthy third quarter 2010 profits thanks for a batch of new drugs, including ones that pertain to the treatment of both gout and leukemia.



European Journal of Cancer Prevention – “A Prospective Study of Gout and Cancer”, April 2009, Retrieved November 2, 2010 from – “John Hopkins Scientists Out Gene for Gout”, June 19, 2009, Retrieved November 2, 2010 from

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