Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Extended report
Epidemiology of gout and hyperuricaemia in Italy during the years 2005–2009: a nationwide population-based study
  1. Gianluca Trifirò1,2,
  2. Paolo Morabito1,
  3. Lorenzo Cavagna3,
  4. Carmen Ferrajolo2,4,
  5. Serena Pecchioli5,
  6. Monica Simonetti5,
  7. Elisa Bianchini5,
  8. Gerardo Medea6,
  9. Claudio Cricelli6,
  10. Achille P Caputi1,
  11. Giampiero Mazzaglia5
  1. 1Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Messina, Messina, Italy
  2. 2Department of Medical Informatics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3Division of Rheumatology, University of Pavia and IRCCS Foundation Policlinico S. Matteo, Pavia, Italy
  4. 4Department of Experimental Medicine, Pharmacology Section, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy
  5. 5Health Search, Italian College of General Practitioners, Florence, Italy
  6. 6Italian College of General Practitioners, Florence, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Gianluca Trifirò, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Messina, Via Consolare Valeria Gazzi, 98125 Messina, Italy; trifirog{at}


Objective To assess the epidemiology of gout and hyperuricaemia in the Italian general population during the years 2005–2009.

Methods Using the Italian primary care database (Health Search/CSD Longitudinal Patient Database), the prevalence, incidence and recurrence rates of gout and/or hyperuricaemia (serum urate level >360 mmol/l (6 mg/dl)) in outpatients aged ≥18 years during the years 2005–2009 were estimated. Rates together with 95% CI were measured overall and stratified by age, gender and calendar year. The characteristics of patients with newly diagnosed gout and hyperuricaemia were investigated and compared with the general population.

Results The prevalence of gout increased from 6.7 per 1000 inhabitants in 2005 to 9.1 per 1000 inhabitants in 2009. It increased with advancing age and was fourfold higher in men. A similar trend was observed for asymptomatic hyperuricaemia (85.4 per 1000 inhabitants in 2005 vs 119.3 per 1000 inhabitants in 2009). The incidence of gout remained stable during the observation years (0.93 per 1000 person years in 2005 vs 0.95 in 2009). Recurrent episode rate was 19.1% during the first year following the first gout attack and 31.6% during the following 5 years. Advanced age, increased levels of uric acid, nephrolithiasis and concomitant use of ciclosporin were the main predictors of recurrence of gout attacks.

Conclusion The prevalence of gout and hyperuricaemia increased in Italy from 2005 to 2009. A high recurrence rate for gout attack was observed during the first year following the first episode. Early management of hyperuricaemia in patients at higher risk of recurrent gout attack should be considered in primary care.

Statistics from


  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.