Understanding Gout: Survey Results

A new survey has found that a large number of people with gout have a poor understanding of the disease. For example, although several strategies exist for relieving the pain of gout, more than 70% of patients believe that living with pain is unavoidable.

The survey, which encompassed 1,000 gout patients and 500 caregivers, was conducted by a nonprofit organization called CreakyJoints, which specializes in arthritis and arthritis-related issues.

Another misunderstanding the survey discovered was that many of the respondents believed that gout was solely caused by a poor diet, even though the disease has several other contributing factors, such as obesity, family history, and medications. In addition to the topics of pain and diet, the survey asked about doctor visits. It reported that 25% of people with gout had not visited their physician in a year.

CreakyJoints also reported another survey, this one published in the British Journal of Medical Practice. This one found that gout is often undertreated — less than half of patients were receiving standard urate-lowering therapies, and among those who were receiving medications for reducing uric acid, a key driver of gout, many were being prescribed inadequate doses.

Based on these findings, CreakyJoints had recommendations for both patients and physicians. First, patients should be careful to record their gout flare-ups and report them to their doctors. Second, serum uric acid levels should be tested more frequently so that target levels are being met.

Want to learn more about gout? Read “Gout: Understood But Undertreated” and “The Good News and Bad News on Gout.”

Joseph Gustaitis is a freelance writer and editor based in the Chicago area.

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