It’s unfortunate to know that the incidence of gout is gradually increasing in the past years despite the developments in understanding the said disease. Compared to how gout was treated in the past, we are now more apt to fight gout and prevent its development. But with this steady increase, it says a lot on how majority of the population give less significance to the simple lifestyle changes they can do in order to prevent gout development. More pressingly, it tells us that people are still not fully aware of the dangers that gout imposes to anyone especially to those how are at great risk of developing it.
I came across with an article on the Internet that integrated many different studies over the past few years that show this gradual increase of gout incidence. It’s quite alarming to realize that more and more people are still afflicted by gout despite the fact that it’s highly preventable. The succeeding sections are excerpts from that article on news-medical.net.
Most recently, researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine have stated that the incidence of gout has risen significantly in the US over the last 20 years. (2)
The increase may have been going on much longer than this. Earlier research published in the Journal of Rheumatology compared 1995-1996 with 1977-1978 and found that there had been a significant increase over this period. (10)
This increasing trend may not, however, be universal to all countries. For example, research published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases showed that the incidence of gout in the UK seemed to remain stable during the 1990s. (9)
Thus, whether the incidence of gout is increasing seems to be dependent on where you are referring to and over what timescale.
Researchers, publishing work in the Current Rheumatology Reports, did, however, generalise that “taken together, epidemiologic investigations suggest that gout frequency is on the rise worldwide”. (11)
The increasing trend of gout incidence is said to be linked to the increase of obesity worldwide. Because obesity is the major risk factor for gout, incidence of gout is expected to rise along the increase of obesity. However, there are other contributing factors to the development of gout. Obesity can’t be singled out. In order to halt this on-going surge, we must do our part individually. By being physically active and eating healthily, we can greatly help in this global fight against gout.