Update on Gout and Hyperuricemia

J. F. Baker; H. Ralph Schumacher


Int J Clin Pract. 2010;64(3):371-377. 

In This Article

The Burden of Gout

Patients with acute gout experience significant pain and swelling, which can severely impair quality of life (QOL). Long-term complications from gout can also impair QOL, as patients may develop chronic debilitating arthritis and loss of function. Using a variety of distinct validated measures, patients with gout have been shown to experience a significant overall reduction in QOL.[8]

Gout is also associated with health care and economic costs.[9] It has been estimated that the direct burden of illness for new cases of acute gout may be as high as $27 million in the United States.[10] Care of chronic gout represents approximately 6% of a patient's all-cause yearly healthcare costs.[11] A diagnosis of gout is independently associated with higher medical and arthritic comorbidity as well as higher utilisation of health care.[12] Gout is also associated with significant costs to employers. Patients with gout use more absence days and are less productive.[13] This observation again underscores the need for inexpensive, yet effective means of prevention and treatment.