The UK Gout Society is inviting people to check their gout risk following recent national publicity about the condition: www.ukgoutsociety.org/check

Gout now affects one in 40 people in the UK1 and is the commonest form of inflammatory arthritis worldwide.  It is caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream, which if present for long enough, can form into needle-like crystals which attack the joints and result in excruciating pain and swelling.

One in ten of all new cases of gout are in the big toe but other joints can be affected too, including the hands.  Left untreated, gout can lead to potential deformity, disability – and can be linked to other serious medical problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke.

gout-check

“By simply answering a number of basic questions on our website – for example, related to age, gender, alcohol intake, family history and other pre-existing health conditions – people can assess whether they may be at risk of gout and if they need to seek further help and advice from their general practitioner,” says Dr Kelsey Jordan, consultant rheumatologist and medical trustee of the UK Gout Society. 

According to the recent research, the number of gout cases soared by 64% between 1997 and 2012 in the UK.1 The increase is likely to be a result of a combination of factors, including an ageing population and a growing obesity problem. 

“However, gout is generally easy to diagnose and eminently treatable if you get the right professional help,” adds Dr Jordan.

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Reference:
1  Rising burden of gout in the UK but continuing suboptimal management: a nationwide population study. Kuo C-F, et al. Ann Rheum Dis 2014;0:1–7.

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