First regional gout study in 50 years underway at UOG

First regional gout study in 50 years underway at UOG

First regional gout study in 50 years underway at UOG


Tristan Paulino
Tristan Paulino

A research team from the University of Guam, in collaboration with the University of Otago in New Zealand, is looking for individuals of CHamoru, other Micronesian, and Filipino ancestry to participate in a study on gout. The study seeks to analyze the role that genetics plays in having high levels in the blood of serum urate, a compound linked to gout and other metabolic conditions.

“Based off archeological and anthropological evidence, it seems that ancient Pacific Islanders and our Micronesian ancestors may have suffered from gout and other metabolic illnesses,” said Tristan Paulino, a UOG alumni who is now a research associate on the study as a doctoral student at the University of Otago. “Given that our ancestors lived a more traditional and active lifestyle, it seems that diet, exercise, and lifestyle may not be the only factors that influence getting gout. One factor that has not been looked at in our population is the genetic factor.”

gout study flyer

The researchers will be looking at frequencies of known genetic markers that have been associated with gout and other conditions.

“Do Micronesians and Filipinos have these genes linked with gout? How prevalent are they? How do these genes impact those who have the disease? Answers to these questions will have implications on how we treat and manage the disease in Guam and throughout the region,” Paulino said.

His interest in pursuing gout as the subject of his doctoral research stems from the fact that gout has been largely understudied in Micronesia and the Marianas — the last medical research on it being conducted more than 50 years ago — yet it still afflicts many people in the region. Paulino will be working with UOG Associate Professor Frank Camacho, who holds a doctorate in biology and is serving as principal investigator on the study, and UOG Professor Yvette Paulino, who holds a doctorate in epidemiology and is serving as co-investigator.

Interested participants can contact (671) 707-0492 or to make an appointment.

Participants must have CHamoru, other Micronesian, or Filipino ancestry and be at least 18 years old. The study will involve completing a health information survey; providing blood pressure, weight, height, waist, and neck measurements; and providing a blood sample. Participants will be compensated with a $20 gift certificate.

The study is funded by the Royal Society of New Zealand Te Apārangi and has been approved by the UOG Institutional Review Board (CHRS#21-91 and #21-84).

On the Air

Listen to Tristan Paulino and Dr. Frank Camacho share more about this study during a radio interview with Newstalk K57's Tony Lamorena. 

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