GIt is not primarily a disease of the elderly, around seven percent of all people over 65 are affected. But doctors are also observing an increase in cases among the younger generation. Gout is mainly due to excessive consumption of meat and alcohol, especially beer.
Another risk factor is being overweight. However, the tendency towards lavish meals and boozy feasts is only one piece of the puzzle when answering an important question: Why does it not affect one and the other? After all, many meat-loving hedonists are spared gout – some muesli enthusiasts, on the other hand, get sick despite abstinence.
This is the question that drives the Freiburg scientist Anna Köttgen. The director of the Institute for Genetic Epidemiology at the University Clinic Freiburg is researching the genetic causes of gout. The latest work under her leadership appeared at the beginning of October, a real mammoth project: Scientists from 195 institutions in over 15 countries have evaluated the data of more than 450,000 study participants.