Gout is a common form of arthritis that usually affects one joint at a time (often the big toe joint) and is very painful. Men and obese adults are more likely to have gout. There are times when symptoms get worse, known as flares, and times when there are no symptoms, known as remission. Repeated bouts of gout can lead to gouty arthritis, a worsening form of arthritis. There is no cure for gout, but you can effectively treat and manage the condition with medication and self-management strategies.
Maintaining a healthy weight decreases your risk of developing osteoarthritis and gout. Protecting your joints from injuries or overuse can reduce your risk of osteoarthritis.
Frequently Asked Questions on Arthritis
- What is Arthritis?
- What are the most common types of arthritis?
- What causes arthritis?
- What are the symptoms of arthritis?
- Am I at risk for arthritis?
- Are people with arthritis more likely to develop complications from the flu?
- How many adults in the United States have arthritis?
- Can children get arthritis?
- Can I prevent arthritis?
- What should I do if I think I have arthritis?
- How is arthritis treated?
- How can I manage my arthritis?
- Is exercise good for people who have arthritis?
- What should I do if I have pain when I exercise?
- How does being overweight affect arthritis?
Gout by the Numbers
- In western developed countries, contemporary prevalence of gout is 3 to 6 percent in men and 1 to 2 percent in women. Prevalence steadily increases with age, but plateaus after age 70. (Kuo 2015)
- Gout is one of the most common rheumatology diseases and is the most common cause of inflammatory arthritis among adults in the U.S. (Khanna 2012)
- Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in the U.S., with a prevalence of about 3.9 percent of adults, or 8.3 million individuals. (Zhu 2011)
- An analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimates that approximately 8 million Americans are affected by gout. (Zhu 2011)
- Men are nearly three times more likely to develop gout, compared with women, and black males are most commonly affected. (Wilson 2016)
- Approximately 60 percent of patients experience a recurrent gout flare within one year of an initial event, and 78 percent experience a recurrent flare within two years. (Brixner 2005)
- In one qualitative study, pain associated with acute gout was described as intolerable, resulting in a feeling of desperation for the attack to end and a sense of helplessness. (Lindsay 2011)
- Gout flares frequently result in patients being unable to bear weight and being bedbound for the duration of the acute attack. Severe foot pain, impairment and disability were observed in a study among patients with acute gout. (Rome 2012)
- Patients with gout have higher than average medical costs and health care utilization than patients without gout. (Jackson 2015)