Gout and Hyperuricaemia in the USA: Prevalence and Trends

Gurkirpal Singh; Bharathi Lingala; Alka Mithal


Rheumatology. 2019;58(12):2177-2180. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Objectives: Several recent observations have suggested that the prevalence of gout may be increasing worldwide, but there are no recent data from the USA. We analysed the prevalence of hyperuricaemia and gout in the US population from 2007–08 to 2015–16.

Methods: We studied adults ≥20 years of age from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2007–08 to 2015–16. Persons with gout were identified from the home interview question 'Has a doctor or other health professional ever told you that you had gout?' Hyperuricaemia was defined as a serum urate level >0.40 mmol/l (6.8 mg/dl) (supersaturation levels at physiological temperatures and pH).

Results: In 2015–16, the overall prevalence of gout among US adults was 3.9%, corresponding to a total affected population of 9.2 million. Hyperuricaemia (>0.40 mmol/l or 6.8 mg/dl) was seen in 14.6% of the US population (estimated 32.5 million individuals). No significant trends were identified in the age-adjusted prevalence of gout and hyperuricaemia. Statistical comparisons between 2007–08 and 2015–16 age-adjusted rates were not significant.

Conclusion: While the age-adjusted prevalence of gout and hyperuricaemia has remained unchanged in the most recent decade from 2007–08 to 2015–16, the estimated total number of persons with self-reported gout has increased from 8.3 million to 9.2 million. The age-adjusted prevalence of hyperuricaemia has declined slightly, but the total number of affected individuals is virtually identical (32.5 million in 2015–16 compared with 32.1 million in 2007–08).


While the prevalence of gout and hyperuricaemia is believed to be increasing worldwide, there is little population-based data in the USA after 2008.[1,2] We evaluated the prevalences of gout and hyperuricaemia in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2007–08 to 2015–16 and compared these to previously published estimates to study whether the time trends continue to show an increase in these rates.