Genetic assessment of hyperuricemia and gout in Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander subgroups of pregnant women: biospecimens repository cross-sectional study

Ali Alghubayshi, Alison Edelman, Khalifa Alrajeh, Youssef Roman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Gout, an inflammatory condition, is characterized by the precipitation of monosodium urate crystals (MSU) in or around distal joints. The latter is caused by chronic hyperuricemia (HU)—high urate levels in the blood. Genetic variations in urate transporters play a significant role in determining urate levels within the human body, rendering some racial and ethnic groups more or less susceptible to developing either HU or gout. This study aims to estimate the frequencies of HU and gout risk alleles in Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander subgroups, using biorepository DNA samples. Methods: The biospecimens repository at the University of Hawai’i provided DNA samples of consented post-partum women of Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Native Hawaiian, Samoan, and Marshallese descent. The DNA was previously extracted from maternal blood and genotyped at the Genomics and Bioinformatics Shared Resource, Cancer Center (Honolulu, HI). Nine urate genes: ABCG2, SLC2A9, SLC16A9, GCKR, SLC22A11, SLC22A12, LRR16A, PDZK1, and SLC17A1, were selected due to their significant association with HU and gout risk. Hardy–Weinberg Equilibrium (HWE) for genotype frequencies was assessed, using the Chi-Square test with p < 0.006 for statistical significance. Allele frequencies in our study were then compared to EUR from the 1000 Genomes Project Database Phase III, using Chi-square or Fisher's exact test, when appropriate. Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons was used, with p < 0.006 for statistical significance. Results: Our study involved 1059 post-partum women 18-year-old or older who self-reported their respective race and ethnicity, including Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander ancestry. The Asian subgroups included Japanese, Filipino, and Korean. The Pacific Islander subgroups included Marshallese and Samoan. None of the study participants had a history of gout. We excluded the PDZK1 gene from the final analysis due to its deviation from HWE (p < 0.006) across all the population subgroups, with eight loci remaining for cross-subgroup comparisons. Compared to EUR, the genetic polymorphism frequencies were significantly different-8/8 in Japanese, 6/8 in Korean, 6/8 in Filipino, 8/8 in Samoan, 6/8 in Native Hawaiian, and 6/8 in Marshallese. HU and gout risk alleles indices were 8, 6, 5, 5, 4, and 4 in Japanese, Filipino, Korean, Samoan, Marshallese, and Native Hawaiian, respectively. The percentage of cumulative risk alleles was 100% in both Japanese and Filipino, followed by 83.5% in Korean. Conclusions: Compared to EUR, Asian subgroups, particularly Japanese, Filipino, and Korean, had the highest percentage of the cumulative uric acid risk alleles. These results could partly explain the increased risk of developing gout among some Asian ancestral subgroups compared to EUR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalBMC Rheumatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Asian subgroups
  • Ethnicity
  • Gout
  • Health disparities
  • Hyperuricemia
  • Native Hawaiian
  • Pacific Islanders
  • Pregnancy
  • Race
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of 'Genetic assessment of hyperuricemia and gout in Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander subgroups of pregnant women: biospecimens repository cross-sectional study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this