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Rising burden of gout in the UK but continuing suboptimal management: a nationwide population study
  1. Chang-Fu Kuo1,2,
  2. Matthew J Grainge3,
  3. Christian Mallen4,
  4. Weiya Zhang1,
  5. Michael Doherty1
  1. 1Division of Rheumatology, Orthopaedics and Dermatology, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan
  3. 3Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  4. 4Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, Keele, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Weiya Zhang, Academic Rheumatology, Clinical Sciences Building, City Hospital, Nottingham NG51PB, UK; weiya.zhang{at}nottingham.ac.uk

Abstract

Objectives To describe trends in the epidemiology of gout and patterns of urate-lowering treatment (ULT) in the UK general population from 1997 to 2012.

Methods We used the Clinical Practice Research Datalink to estimate the prevalence and incidence of gout for each calendar year from 1997 to 2012. We also investigated the pattern of gout management for both prevalent and incident gout patients.

Results In 2012, the prevalence of gout was 2.49% (95% CI 2.48% to 2.51%) and the incidence was 1.77 (95% CI 1.73 to 1.81) per 1000 person-years. Prevalence and incidence both were significantly higher in 2012 than in 1997, with a 63.9% increase in prevalence and 29.6% increase in incidence over this period. Regions with highest prevalence and incidence were the North East and Wales. Among prevalent gout patients in 2012, only 48.48% (95% CI 48.08% to 48.89%) were being consulted specifically for gout or treated with ULT and of these 37.63% (95% CI 37.28% to 38.99%) received ULT. In addition, only 18.6% (95% CI 17.6% to 19.6%) of incident gout patients received ULT within 6 months and 27.3% (95% CI 26.1% to 28.5%) within 12 months of diagnosis. The management of prevalent and incident gout patients remained essentially the same during the study period, although the percentage of adherent patients improved from 28.28% (95% CI 27.33% to 29.26%) in 1997 to 39.66% (95% CI 39.11% to 40.22%) in 2012.

Conclusions In recent years, both the prevalence and incidence of gout have increased significantly in the UK. Suboptimal use of ULT has not changed between 1997 and 2012. Patient adherence has improved during the study period, but it remains poor.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

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