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Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 2019. Gout . Cat. no. PHE259. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed 01 April 2020, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/gout
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). Gout . Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/gout
Gout . Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 30 August 2019, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/gout
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Gout [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019 [cited 2020 Apr. 1]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/gout
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2019, Gout , viewed 1 April 2020, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-musculoskeletal-conditions/gout
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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.
Men are more likely to have gout than women—almost 9 in 10 (87%) people with gout are men
0.8% of Australians had gout in 2017–18, based on self-reported survey data. That is approximately 187,000 people
Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis. It occurs when excess uric acid in the blood leads to deposits of uric acid crystals in one or more joints. These deposits cause inflammation, with the big toe joint being most commonly affected. Gout can also affect other joints in the arms (fingers, wrists, elbows) and legs (toes, ankles, knees).
Gout may be episodic (acute) or chronic. Acute gout is characterised by sudden attacks (flares) of severe pain, swelling, redness, heat, tenderness and stiffness in the affected joints.
These flares can last for days or weeks, and are followed by long periods without any symptoms. If flares occur in the same joint over many years, and the underlying excess of uric acid is not controlled, gout can become chronic.
Self-reported data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017–18 National Health Survey show that an estimated 187,000 Australians (0.8% of the population) have this condition. Gout is more common in males than females—almost 9 in 10 (87%) people with gout are males .
While the self-reported prevalence of gout may be low, Australian population-based studies show variation for different population groups. A study of a general practice population found the prevalence of gout to be 1.5%, with gout increasing with age to 11% in men and 4.6% in women aged 85 and over .
The underlying cause of gout is excess uric acid in the blood—a metabolic disorder called hyperuricaemia. This disorder is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease  and metabolic syndrome . Risk factors for hyperuricaemia include obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, poor kidney function and kidney disease, and a diet high in meat, seafood and alcohol.
Other factors that are associated with an increased risk of gout are sex and age—gout is more common in men than in women, and increases with age—and family history.
Gout can be very disabling due to significant pain and functional impairment. Frequent attacks of gout have been found to be associated with reduction in work participation [3,8].
According to the 2015 Australian Burden of Disease Study, gout accounted for 0.9% of the burden due to musculoskeletal conditions. Males experienced more (82%) of the burden than females (18%) . In 2015-16 Gout cost the Australian health system an estimated $176.5 million, representing 1.4% of disease expenditure on Musculoskeletal conditions and 0.2% of total disease expenditure .
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