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Gout cases have jumped sevenfold in the last 50 years.

SAN DIEGO--The number of Americans with gout has climbed sevenfold during the last 50 years, according to Dr. Eswar Krishnan.

The population burden of illness imposed by gout has risen both in men and women across all age groups, but most strikingly so in men older than 65 years, said Dr. Krishnan, director of clinical epidemiology in the division of immunology and rheumatology at Stanford (Calif) University.

He turned to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data to gain a more precise picture of U.S. trends in gout prevalence over time than has previously been available. He accomplished this by comparing age- and sex-specific rates from the 1959-1962 and the 2009-2010 editions of the long-running Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--sponsored surveys..

The unadjusted population-based prevalence of self-reported gout jumped from 6 cases per 1,000 during 1959-1962 to 26 per 1,000 in 2009-2010. The estimated number of gout cases climbed from 1.1 million in 1960 to 8.1 million in 2010. Yet the proportion of gout patients who were women remained steady at 31% over time.

The mean age of Americans with gout rose over the half-century from 54 to 61 years among men and from 55 to 65 years among women, he reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology.

Statistical analysis indicated that the increase in gout cases among women during the last 50 years could be accounted for entirely by the much-discussed societal growth in abdominal obesity In contrast, the explanation for the increased prevalence of gout in men was multifactorial. The bulk of the increase was associated with an increased life span and the graying of America, coupled with higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, and abdominal obesity.

However, an immeasurable portion of the increase in gout during the past half-century is probably due to increased awareness of the disease among the U.S. population, Dr. Krishnan added.

NHANES is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Krishnan reported having received research grants from Takeda, which markets gout medication.


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Title Annotation:RHEUMATOLOGY
Author:Jancin, Bruce
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Date:Dec 1, 2013
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