6 Apr 2009

First evidence of gout in ancient Maori

5:14 pm on 6 April 2009

The first evidence of gout in ancient Maori has been found by Otago University researchers.

Research co-ordinator Hallie Buckley says Polynesians today have a high incidence of gout, and analysis of bones taken in the 1970s from the Wairau Bar in Marlborough, the possible birthplace of Polynesian settlement in New Zealand more than 700 years ago, indicates a genetic predisposition to the condition.

The study also shows that a high number of the early settlers died in young adulthood.

The remains are to be reburied at the bar this month.