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Ann Rheum Dis. 2013 May;72(5):701-6. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-201186. Epub 2012 Jun 29.

A urate gene-by-diuretic interaction and gout risk in participants with hypertension: results from the ARIC study.

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Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 2024 E. Monument St, Suite B-319, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.



To test for a urate gene-by-diuretic interaction on incident gout.


The Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study is a prospective population-based cohort of 15 792 participants recruited from four US communities (1987-1989). Participants with hypertension and available single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotype data were included. A genetic urate score (GUS) was created from common urate-associated SNPs for eight genes. Gout incidence was self-reported. Using logistic regression, the authors estimated the adjusted OR of incident gout by diuretic use, stratified by GUS median.


Of 3524 participants with hypertension, 33% used a diuretic and 3.1% developed gout. The highest 9-year cumulative incidence of gout was in those with GUS above the median and taking a thiazide or loop diuretic (6.3%). Compared with no thiazide or loop diuretic use, their use was associated with an OR of 0.40 (95% CI 0.14 to 1.15) among those with a GUS below the median and 2.13 (95% CI 1.23 to 3.67) for those with GUS above the median; interaction p=0.006. When investigating the genes separately, SLC22A11 and SLC2A9 showed a significant interaction, consistent with the former encoding an organic anion/dicarboxylate exchanger, which mediates diuretic transport in the kidney.


Participants who were genetically predisposed to hyperuricaemia were susceptible to developing gout when taking thiazide or loop diuretics, an effect not evident among those without a genetic predisposition. These findings argue for a potential benefit of genotyping individuals with hypertension to assess gout risk, relative in part to diuretic use.

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