Gout: No Laughing Matter
The UK Gout Society held a parliamentary reception at the House of Commons on 28th March 2017 to launch #shoutaboutgout – a social media campaign to raise awareness about gout, a musculoskeletal disorder which now affects one in 40 people in the UK. Nearly 60 MPs, peers and other stakeholders in the MSK space, including many ARMA members, attended the event.
Jim Shannon, MP for Strangford (Northern Ireland) and DUP Spokesperson for Health, who sponsored the event, stated: “It’s time we put the facts on the table and told people the truth about gout.”
The George Nuki, Emeritus Professor of Rheumatology, Edinburgh, and trustee of the UK Gout Society explained that gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis worldwide and eminently treatable and potentially curable. “Despite having known how to treat gout effectively for at least fifty years, it has increased in frequency and is more common now than rheumatoid arthritis. This has enormous consequences for the NHS.” He went on to explain the importance of treating gout to a target urate level. “However, in general practice, we know that less than ten percent of patients are having their uric acid levels monitored.”
Paul Webber, a patient, who discovered he had gout at just age 25, talked about the ‘the deep thudding pain of gout’ and how it affects his everyday activities, like travelling to and from work.
The charity called for people to ’come out’ about their gout and share their experiences on social media, as well as become a Friend of the charity to help fund vital educational activities: www.ukgoutsociety.org
Pictured: Jim Shannon MP and Emeritus Professor George Nuki.