The UK Gout Society had a busy week w/c 13th January following the publication of a new study published in Annals of Rheumatic Disease. Authored by Dr W Zhang and colleagues from City Hospital, Nottingham, the paper reported a significant increase in the prevalence of gout over the last 15 years with one in 40 people in the UK now affected. Researchers looked at the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) to analyse the number of existing and new cases of gout in the UK between 1997 and 2012. Between this period, the prevalence of gout rose by 64% – increasing by around 4% every year.
Despite the soaring numbers, the study researchers said access to effective medication continued to remain a problem for gout patients. In 2012, fewer than one in five patients were prescribed medication within six months of their diagnosis, and only around one in four were on this treatment a year after diagnosis.
The UK Gout Society received many media enquiries in response to the story and was widely commented in the print media including the Daily Mail. In addition, the charity undertook nearly 20 live broadcast interviews which helped to raise national awareness of this debilitating condition. These included BBC Radio Five Live, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio Wales and the BBC News Channel (TV). The coverage will soon be posted on the UK Gout Society website.
“Rising burden of gout in the UK but continuing suboptimal management: a nationwide population study”: Chang-Fu Kuo, Matthew J Grainge, Christian Mallen, Weiya Zhang, Michael Doherty available here in pdf format.