Gout is often associated with additional conditions meaning that patient treatment is not always simple.
A recent study by Dr. Vanyan Zhu and colleagues examined the prevalence of gout using the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) which is a nationally representative database of U.S. citizens.
It has been well established that in addition being a painful and potentially disabling condition, gout is also linked to serious cardiac and metabolic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. However, it is not well establish just how many individuals currently have gout along with other health conditions or co-mordities. The purpose of this study is to try to increase that knowledge.
According to this study, an estimated 3.9% of Americans have gout. Among these individuals, 74% (6.1 million) reported having high blood pressure, 26% (2.1 million) had diabetes and 14% (1.2 million) had a previous heart attack. Those with gout were more likely to have reported these conditions in comparison to those who did not have gout. Interestingly, those with a higher level of uric acid in the blood (a common consequence of gout) were more likely to have the co-morbidities than those with lower levels. This is significant because high uric acid is not always associated with greater gout flares meaning that if you suffer from gout but do not have symptoms of the condition, you may still be at increased health risk if you do not take action to control uric acid levels.
Zhu Y, Pandya BJ, Choi HK. Comorbidities of Gout and Hyperuricemia in the US General Population: NHANES 2007-2008. Am J Med. 2012 Jul;125(7):679-687.e1. Epub 2012 May 23.