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Gout in the UK and Germany: prevalence, comorbidities and management in general practice 2000–2005

Abstract

Objective: To investigate and compare the prevalence, comorbidities and management of gout in practice in the UK and Germany.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of patients with gout, identified through the records of 2.5 million patients in UK general practices and 2.4 million patients attending GPs or internists in Germany, using the IMS Disease Analyzer.

Results: The prevalence of gout was 1.4% in the UK and Germany. Obesity was the most common comorbidity in the UK (27.7%), but in Germany the most common comorbidity was diabetes (25.9%). The prevalence of comorbidities tended to increase with serum uric acid (sUA) levels. There was a positive correlation between sUA level and the frequency of gout flares. Compared with those in whom sUA was <360 μmol/l (<6 mg/dl), odds ratios for a gout flare were 1.33 and 1.37 at sUA 360–420 μmol/l (6–7 mg/dl), and 2.15 and 2.48 at sUA >530 μmol/l ( >9 mg/dl) in the UK and Germany, respectively (p<0.01).

Conclusions: The prevalence of gout in practice in the UK and Germany in the years 2000–5 was 1.4%, consistent with previous UK data for 1990–9. Chronic comorbidities were common among patients with gout and included conditions associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The importance of regular monitoring of sUA in order to tailor gout treatment was highlighted by data from this study showing that patients with sUA levels ⩾360 μmol/l (⩾6 mg/dl) had an increased risk of gout flares.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: LA has received an unrestricted research grant from Ipsen. MB and VM are Ipsen employees. TG is a former Ipsen employee. ES, MG, GN: no competing interests.

  • Funding: Financial support for this study was provided by Ipsen. Involvement by Ipsen in the study design, in the collection, analysis and interpretation of data, and in the writing of the report and the decision to submit for publication was limited to the role of the authors employed by Ipsen.

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