Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis that develops when an excess of uric acid in the blood leads to deposits of uric acid crystals in one or more joints, causing inflammation.
0.8% of Australians had gout in 2014–15, based on self-reported survey data. That is approximately 192,000 people
25% rise in hospitalisation rates for people with gout between 2005–06 and 2014–15
4x more men than women have gout—8 in 10 (81%) of people with gout are men
Gout can be controlled with early and ongoing treatment, including:
Flares and complications can be managed by reducing risk factors for hyperuricaemia (dehydration, obesity and alcohol intake), taking urate-lowering medications to keep uric acid levels low, and managing comorbid conditions, such as high blood pressure, chronic kidney disease, diabetes and heart disease.
Guidelines for the treatment and prevention of gout, including the American College of Rheumatology, European League Against Rheumatism, and the 3e Initiative (Multinational Evidence, Expertise, Exchange) suggest early treatment, use of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatment, and patient education, including advice on diet and lifestyle [1,2,5].
The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), low-dose colchicine and oral/intra-muscular/intra-articular glucocorticoids has also been found to be effective in managing acute gout. It has been recommended that people with gout should continue urate-lowering therapy for the rest of their lives .
Data from the AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (NHMD) show that, in 2014–15:
Source: AIHW National Hospital Morbidity Database (Data table).
The age-standardised hospitalisation rate for Australians with gout increased in the 10 years from 2005–06 to 2014–15: from 20 hospitalisations per 100,000 population to 25 per 100,000 population. There was a slightly larger increase for females (29%, from 7 to 9 per 100,000 population) compared with males (26%, from 34 to 43 per 100,000 population).
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