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Study says Native Hawaiians have highest chance to get Gout

<i>KITV</i><br/>Results of a new study show gout affects people of a certain ethnicity much more than others.
Results of a new study show gout affects people of a certain ethnicity much more than others.

By Jefferson Tyler

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    HONOLULU (KITV) — Gout affects millions of people in the U.S. including in Hawaii. For people who have it, it’s hard to move around. Results of a new study show gout affects people of a certain ethnicity much more than others. The study is the most recent peek into the inner workings of gout. The outcome of working the numbers. Native Hawaiians are the most prevalent of all races to get gout.

“If it stays untreated for a certain amount of time it will begin to deform the joint, and possibily cause disability,” said researcher and study author Mika D. Thompson. Gout is no joke. Estimates are that tens of thousand have it in Hawaii already.

While it’s not fatal, it’s linked to other issueas like heart disease. If it gets bad enough, moving around becomes painful. “When you break down certain types of food, they will produce euric acid. When levels of this get to high it will start to develop crystals on your joints,” said Thompson.

A recent study says older Native Hawaiians have almost twice the chance of developing gout as caucasians. Blacks have a 30% higher risk and Japanese having a 14% greater risk.These numbers come out of a previous Multi-ethnic Cohort cancer study of 1999 to 2016. 92,000 of those test subjects had gout.

Genetics is one of the possible reasons for the difference among Native Hawaiians. “There is a genetic component that is passed down within this group. Most likely it is a combination of factors. Westernization of lifestyle,” said Thompson.

Diet is considered another contributing factor. “The effect of beer was greater among Japanese participants than it was among white participants,” said Thompson.

One of the authors of the study says the diet of Native Hawaiians should also be an subject of concern. “Processed and red meats is going to have a very strong association with gout. And spam is definitely a processed meat,” said Thompson.

Certain types of fish are also considered contributors. There are some other recommended dietary changes as well. “Reducing alcohol use is very important to preventing gout. Eating a better diet overall such as a high consumption of vegetables and higher levels of fruits,” said Thompson.

Gout usually starts in lower joints such as your foot or ankle. But it can also crop up in your hands or elbow. So you might want to see a doctor if you start getting shooting pains in those extremities.

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