Study finds gout and hyperuricemia on the rise in the US

Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that the incidence of gout and hyperuricemia (high uric acid levels) in the U.S. has risen significantly over the last 20 years and is associated with major medical disorders like hypertension and chronic kidney disease. The study, which is published in the American Journal of Medicine, was led by Hyon Choi, MD, DrPH, professor of medicine in the section of rheumatology and the clinical epidemiology unit at BUSM and rheumatologist at Boston Medical Center (BMC).

Gout is a common triggered by crystallization of uric acid within the joints, causing severe pain and swelling.

Using data from the latest U.S. National Health and (NHANES) conducted in 2007 and 2008, which included data from 5,707 participants, the researchers found that gout now affects 8.3 million Americans, or four percent of the population. They also found that hyperuricemia affects 43.3 million U.S. adults, or 21 percent of the population.

The study results demonstrated that participants with gout have remarkably high rates of hypertension (74 percent) and (71 percent). More than half of this patient population was obese (53 percent) and a significant number had diabetes (26 percent) and kidney stones (24 percent). These participants also showed high rates of heart attack (14 percent), heart failure (11 percent) and stroke (10 percent).

Additionally, study results showed that among individuals with the highest uric acid levels, rates of kidney disease (86 percent), hypertension (66 percent) and obesity (65 percent) were high. Approximately one third of the survey participants had heart failure and diabetes, and the prevalence of heart attack (23 percent) and stroke (12 percent) also were high.

"These findings highlight the remarkable prevalences and of medical disorders associated with gout and hyperuricemia in the U.S.," said Choi, the study's senior author. "Appropriate preventive and management measures of these associated conditions should be implemented in gout management, and when considering treatment strategies in gout, the lifestyle and pharmacologic measures that can concurrently improve serum uric acid and reduce associated disorders should be preferred."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Gout prevalence swells in US over last 2 decades

Jul 28, 2011

A new study shows the prevalence of gout in the U.S. has risen over the last twenty years and now affects 8.3 million (4%) Americans. Prevalence of increased uric acid levels (hyperuricemia) also rose, affecting 43.3 million ...

Gout drug benefits kidney disease patients

Jun 10, 2010

A drug commonly used to treat gout may help maintain kidney disease patients' health, according to an analysis appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The resear ...

Recommended for you

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

7 hours ago

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

11 hours ago

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

Bacteria in caramel apples kills at least four in US

Dec 19, 2014

A listeria outbreak believed to originate from commercially packaged caramel apples has killed at least four people in the United States and sickened 28 people since November, officials said Friday.

Steroid-based treatment may answer needs of pediatric EoE patients

Dec 19, 2014

A new formulation of oral budesonide suspension, a steroid-based treatment, is safe and effective in treating pediatric patients with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.