Could Gout Vanish Rather Than Increasing?

January 27, 2014

Could gout go the way of smallpox? It might, if only everyone would follow the guidelines available for management, says an editorial.

Gout: a disease of the past, the present, but not the future?Lancet, Jan. 25, 2014

Gout “has the potential to be a disorder of the past,” says this editorial, if general practitioners "start treating all patients with gout according to current guidelines and advising on diet and lifestyle,” adding that the 2012 American College of Rheumatology guidelines "are a good basis.”

The editorial draws attention to a newly published study in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases that points out increases in goutin the UK, US, and New Zealand, possibly because of increases in hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and chronic kidney disease.

Most people with gout in the U.K. were not advised about the disease or given treatment, that study found. This is despite a “renaissance” of insights into the underlying biology and new drugs to affect many of its mechanisms, notes the editorial in Lancet.

A questionnaire-based study about gout treatment practices among primary care providers in the US, published last April in Rheumatology, found that only about half were treating gout as recommended by US and European guidelines.