Raising Awareness about Gout and Chronic Kidney Disease

NKF Spring Clinical Meetings 2021

Gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, affects more than 3 million Americans. While no causal link has been established between gout and chronic kidney disease (CKD), research does demonstrate an association between gout and an increased risk of CKD progression.

Patients with gout and CKD should manage risk factors that may worsen their health. Morenike Bello, MPH, CHES, and colleagues conducted a study to identify opportunities to raise awareness regarding the association between gout and CKD. Results of the study were reported during a virtual poster session at NKF Spring Clinical Meetings 2021 in a poster titled Opportunities to Raise Awareness about Gout and Chronic Kidney Disease: Findings from an Online Survey.

The 28-item online survey, conducted by the American Kidney Fund (AKF) in 2020 among patients with gout, sought to identify participants’ behaviors regarding gathering of health information as well as gaps in knowledge related to gout. The survey also covered patients’ symptom management and feelings associated with talking about gout with healthcare providers, employers, and loved ones. AKF completed a descriptive analysis of 43 survey responses.

Of the survey participants, 75% reported having gout and CKD. At the onset of gout symptoms, 67% of those patients sought help within 0 to 3 months and 72% visited their physician for additional information. Patients most commonly worked with their primary care provider to manage gout symptoms rather than seeking specialist care.

More than half of respondents reported that at the time of their CKD diagnosis, no healthcare provider mentioned gout as a side effect of CKD (54%) or outlines steps to take to prevent gout (57%). In respondents with gout only, most reported that at the time of the gout diagnosis no healthcare provider mentioned the connection between gout and kidney disease (67%) or how to prevent kidney disease (73%).

In conclusion, the researchers said, “Many people are not talking to their doctors about gout and its connection kidney disease until they experience gout symptoms. The points of gout and CKD diagnosis are a missed opportunity for prevention education. Healthcare providers are a trusted health information source for gout patients and if primary care physicians are more proactive about starting this conversation, patients may be more empowered to keep their conditions under control and mitigate their risk for developing additional comorbidities.”

Source: Bello M, Alawode M, Fatima U, Spigler M, Paris M. Opportunities to raise awareness about gout and chronic kidney disease: Findings from an online survey. Abstract of a poster presented at the National Kidney Foundation virtual Spring Clinical Meetings (Abstract #199), April 9, 2021.