Gout Patients Bear a Tremendous Burden, Research Reveals

GAINESVILLE, Fla: Gout is a very serious and common form of inflammatory arthritis, yet fewer than one in three patients is getting the treatment needed to avoid future flares and complications, according to researchi from the Gout Education Society.

Because of this lack of proper treatment, the research confirmed that gout is taking a serious toll on those who have it—contributing to issues related to depression, poor quality of life and needing time away from work. According to the survey:

4 in 10 patients say their quality of life is not as good because of gout.
1 in 4 feels like gout controls his or her life.
1 in 4 feels isolated or alone in struggling with gout.
1 in 4 frequently misses work because of gout.

These results build on a 2016 survey from the Gout Education Society, in which nine out of 10 gout sufferers agreed that they worry about it and that it is a major inconvenience.

With gout linked to permanent damage and other health issues—ranging from kidney disease, to diabetes, to heart attack and stroke—the severity of gout, and the tremendous burden that patients carry, cannot be ignored, said N. Lawrence Edwards, MD, MACP, MACR, chairman of the Gout Education Society. Through our education, we aim to raise awareness of the impact of gout and address the stigma associated with this very serious disease.

The survey also examined the levels of pain associated with a gout flare—with many gout sufferers comparing the disease to some of the most painful afflictions one can endure. According to the survey, gout patients believe that a flare is more painful than:

A severe burn — 39%
Kidney stones — 36%
Breaking a bone — 34%
Childbirth — 29%
Being hit by a car — 25%

Additionally, nearly one in five gout patients believes nothing is more painful than a gout flare.

The Gout Stigma
While 84 percent of people with gout agree that it is a very serious health issue that requires ongoing treatment and management, the survey confirmed that a stigma exists when it comes to identifying as someone who has the disease. More than two-thirds of gout patients—and half of Americans overall—believe that gout is an embarrassing disease.

This perception needs to be changed, said Dr. Edwards. Gout is extremely serious, extremely painful and extremely common. It affects more than 8.3 million Americans, which is equivalent to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis (1.3MM), lupus (1.5MM), Crohn's disease (1.6MM) and Sjogren's disease (4MM), combined.

Additional information and complimentary gout resources—including a new medical professional locator—are available at GoutEducation.org.
(PRN | 1 year ago)

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Gout Patients Bear a Tremendous Burden, Research Reveals