Gout Cases Increasing but Going Untreated

October 10, 2014 in STSMPT

Research shows that gout incidence continues to rise. The research team of a recent study used the medical records of approximately 12 million people and found a 30% increase of incidence in gout from 1997 to 2012. However, less than half of the cases in the study were being treated specifically for gout and only 37% were using urate-lowering therapy (ULT). In addition, only 18.6% of these patients began treatment for the ailment within 6 months of diagnoses.

 

Over 8 million people in the United States suffer from gout which is a very painful inflammatory arthritis caused by the crystallization of uric acid in joints. Acute gout will typically manifest itself as a red, hot, and swollen joint with severe pain. These flare-ups respond well to treatment with oral anti-inflammatory medicines and may be prevented with medication and diet changes.

 

Study author Weiya Zhang, PhD, says, “Since this is a disease with well-established treatments, it is a shame that we haven’t controlled it properly in the past 15 years. This does raise a question on how to improve the current management of gout.”

 

The authors hope that the study sparks educational initiatives to increase knowledge of gout for both medical professionals and patients and improve patient adherence to treatment.

 

Source: Kuo C, Grainge M, Mallen C, Zhang W, Doherty M. Rising burden of gout in the UK but continuing suboptimal management: a nationwide population study. Annals of the Rheumatic Disease, doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204463. Published online first: 15 January 2014.

Gout Rising Untreated

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