Gout cases increasing worldwide

The prevalence of gout - a form of arthritis characterised by severe pain, redness and joint tenderness has increased across the world at an alarming rate.

That’s according to Kolling Institute researcher Dr Emma Smith, who was the senior author of a research paper analysing the condition from 1990 to 2017.

The paper, published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, found there were more than 41 million cases of gout in 2017, representing an increase of over five per cent from 1990.

Dr Smith said her analysis showed gout was more common in males and in older individuals, and generally higher in developed regions and countries.

“We also found high body mass index and impaired kidney function were risk factors for gout, and we expect the number of cases will continue to climb,” she said.

“The increasing trend of gout burden is likely to continue, with the global ageing population on the rise.

“Greater efforts are needed to reduce the burden of gout through early diagnosis and treatment, and better awareness of the risk factors."