No Change in Prevalence of Gout and Hyperuricemia

The percent of the population living with gout or hyperuricemia has remained fairly consistent over the last 10 years, according to a recent analysis. 

Researchers assessed current data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Unlike in previous years, they did not find a significant increase in disease presence. 

“The prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in the United States more than doubled between the 1960s and the 1990s and continued to increase steadily afterwards,” the study authors wrote. During 2007–2008, 3.9% of U.S. adults had gout. Figures changed somewhat over the next several years, but by 2015–2016, the number was back to 3.9%. The disease was more prevalent in men (5.2%) than women (2.7%). 

Hyperuricemia was identified by serum urate levels of >7.0 mg/dL in men and >5.7 mg/dL in women. Hyperuricemia rates dropped just slightly, from 21.4% in 2007–2008 to 20.1% in 2015–2016. In 2015–2016, mean serum urate levels and instances of hyperuricemia were 6.0 mg/dL and 20.2%, respectively, in men and 4.8 mg/dL and 20.0%, respectively, in women. 

From 2007–2014, the use of urate‐lowering therapy (ULT) among gout patients was 33% and remained steady throughout the study period. Men were more likely to use ULT than women, based on 2013–2014 statistics: 35.5% in men versus 15.5% in women. 

“In this nationally‐representative sample of US adults, the prevalences of gout and hyperuricemia remain substantial albeit unchanged over the past decade,” the researchers wrote. “Despite this burden, only one‐third of gout patients are receiving ULT.” 

The study authors noted that a 10-year period may not be long enough to identify a trend. 

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Sources: Rheumatology News, Arthritis & Rheumatology