Many people carry a genetic vulnerability to gout, something one cannot really change.
But a new study in BMC Medicine now proves that a specific lifestyle habits can reduce your risk of gout, even reverse it, even if you are genetically vulnerable to it.
This means you can be gout free no matter what your genetic makeup is.
To find out, they analyzed the data of 416,481 gout-free participants in the UK Biobank database. This database keeps a record of the genetic and health information of more than 500,000 people.
The researchers divided them according to their genetic gout risk into low, middle, and high groups.
They also divided them according to the healthiness of their lifestyles into unfavorable, intermediate, and favorable groups. The lifestyle factors that contributed to this categorization were alcohol use, smoking, physical activity, and diet.
Over the following 12.1 years, 6,206 participants developed gout. Those who did so were more likely to be male, elderly, undereducated, socioeconomically weak, physically inactive, smokers, excessive alcohol drinkers, and unhealthy eaters.
How did the genetic and lifestyle factors compare?
1. When compared with participants with a low genetic risk, those in the middle group were 44% more likely to develop gout, and those in the genetically high-risk group were 77% more likely to develop it.
2. When compared with the participants with unfavorable habits, those in the intermediate group were 21% and those in the favorable group were 37% less likely to develop gout.
3. Compared with those with a low genetic predisposition and a favorable lifestyle, those with middle or high genetic predispositions coupled with unfavorable lifestyles were 239% times more likely to develop gout, and those with middle and high genetic predisposition and favorable lifestyles were 53% more likely to develop it.
4. A healthy lifestyle could mitigate the risk of gout by almost a third.