Gout, the most common inflammatory arthritis in adults, is a highly symptomatic and painful form of inflammatory arthritis caused by high serum uric acid (sUA) levels in the blood, which can lead to painful flares. Most often those flares occur in extremities, such as big toes and fingers, but it can also occur in feet, ankles, knees, hands and wrists. While gout is treatable, a new survey by CreakyJoints, an online, non-profit, patient support organization, demonstrates that it is often a disease that is out of control, including for many seniors. New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control
Patients surveyed experienced an average of eight painful gout attacks per year and more than half these patients reported attacks that lasted three or more days. Moreover, 76% of patients indicated gout hinders their ability to walk, climb stairs, or sleep, causing a rippling effect not only on patients’ lives, but also on the lives of their caregivers and families. Almost 60% of patients surveyed admitted they wouldn’t be able to meet their basic needs (e.g., running errands, bathing, etc.) during a gout attack, if they did not have someone to help them. New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control
More than two-thirds of patients and nine in 10 caregivers surveyed said they accept painful gout attacks as part of living with the disease, even though most of these same patients and caregivers also stated they were satisfied with existing gout treatments, indicating a disconnect. Older adults, those 45 years and older, blamed themselves for the disease. Fifty-eight percent said, “I sometimes feel responsible for causing my gout due to my diet and/or alcohol consumption”
Of the survey results, Theodore Fields, M.D., Hospital for Special Surgery, New York and CreakyJoints Advisor said, “It’s startling that so many of the patients and caregivers surveyed have resigned themselves to the impacts of gout. There is much work to be done to educate patients with gout and their caregivers to help get the patients’ gout symptoms under control.”
The Blame Game and a Lack of Understanding
Stereotypically, gout is blamed on a person’s overindulgence in a diet rich in purines, like red meat or from drinking too much alcohol. However, hereditary factors contribute significantly to gout, a fact that only 35% of gout patients and 34% of caregivers surveyed identified as true.
There are two causes of gout – overproduction and underexcretion of uric acid – with only 14% of gout patients and 9% of caregivers surveyed correctly citing both causes contributing to gout. Moreover, merely 11% of patients and 9% of caregivers surveyed knew that the target sUA levels for gout patients was less than 6 mg/dL.
Concerningly, nearly three in 10 patients surveyed admitted to hiding gout attacks from loved ones, with more than two-thirds of caregivers surveyed stating they wish their loved ones would tell them sooner when they are experiencing a gout attack. Further, half of patients surveyed do not report all their gout attacks to their doctor.
According to Dr. Fields, patients must be transparent to their loved ones and their doctor about the impact of gout by reporting flares, and doctors should test their gout patients’ serum uric acid levels regularly to ensure these patients are reaching and sustaining the target goal of under 6 mg/dL.
CreakyJoints co-founder and Executive Director, Louis Tharp also recommended that, “Reach out for resources in your community, and be honest with your doctor and loved ones about your symptoms, including all your gout attacks. Get the uric acid in your blood to target level. Together, we can take the steps to get gout back in control.”
The survey was conducted online among 1,000 gout patients and 500 caregivers of gout patients in March 2017 to gain insight into their perceptions of and experiences with gout. Edelman Intelligence conducted the survey, which was made possible by CreakyJoints, with funding from Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.
New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control
New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control New Survey Shows Gout is Out of Control