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A study of renal function of 51 patients with gout and an equal number of normouricaemic controls revealed significant differences. A relative impairment of the glomerular filtration rate and urine concentrating ability in the gouty subjects could not be wholly explained on the basis of aging or hypertension. Renal dysfunction was generally mild and was not associated with specific clinical characteristics higher levels of uric acid excretion, or hypertriglyceridaemia. Gout patients excreted urine with a significantly lower pH. This was associated with a relatively high excretion of titratable acid and a deficit of ammonium excretion, which was accentuated by ingestion of an acid load. Urate clearance was significantly reduced in gout, even when expressed as a fraction of the glomerular filtration rate.