A study published by UT Southwestern in the February issue of Kidney International concluded that uric acid stones also are associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Heavier people tend to have more insulin resistance, too, said Dr. Orson Moe, a co-author of the earlier report. Dr. Moe is the director of the Charles & Jane Pak Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research.
According to Dr. Charles Y.C. Pak, senior author of the current study and professor of internal medicine, the discovery of a link between body weight and uric acid kidney stone formation is significant.
"In 1986 we coined the term 'gouty diathesis' to describe uric acid stones forming in the absence of any discernible cause," Dr. Pak said. "We now know that one of the causes is obesity that leads to insulin resistance and diabetes. The challenge for our research team is to determine whether weight loss and/or sensitization to insulin would bring about a relief of stone formation."
Other UT Southwestern researchers contributing to the current study were Beverley Adams-Huet, mineral metabolism faculty associate, and Dr. Naim M. Maalouf, postdoctoral trainee in mineral metabolism. Dr. Frederic L. Coe and Joan H. Parks from the University of Chicago also contributed.