Tuesday, 25 Feb 2020

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Despite Gout Numbers and Flares, Allopurinol is Underutilized

A population-based survey from South Australia shows that gout flares are common in the community and have a significant effect on health-related quality of life (HRQoL), yet there is significant undertreatment of gout, even in those on current allopurinol.

The South Australia Health Omnibus Survey is an annual, face-to-face adult population-based survey that collected information on self-reported medically diagnosed gout, allopurinol use and gout attacks (flares) in the prior 12 months.

Overall the findings showed:

  • the prevalence of gout in the population was 6.5%
  • 37.1% of gout patients were on current allopurinol and 23.2% reported prior use
  • frequent flares (≥ 2/year) were reported by 25% of gout
    • were more likely with: younger age, higher BMI, and current allopurinol use (p < 0.05)
    • in those with frequent gout flares, 51% were on current allopurinol therapy
  • gout flares were associated with a lower physical HRQoL (p = 0.012). 

Despite the prevalence, flares rates and HRQoL effects seen with gout, only 37% were on allopurinol (51% in those with frequent attacks).

Undertreated disease and suboptimal use of urate lowering therapy continue to plaque gout management in the populace.

The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject

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