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The prevalence of gout—a form of arthritis characterized by severe pain, redness, and tenderness in joints—increased across the world at an alarming rate from 1990 to 2017, according to an analysis published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.
The analysis found that there were approximately 41.2 million prevalent cases of gout in 2017, with the rate of new diagnosed cases being 92 per 100,000 people, an increase of 5.5% from 1990.
Gout was more common in males and in older individuals. Also, the burden of gout was generally highest in developed regions and countries. High body mass index and impaired kidney function were risk factors for gout.
"The increasing trend of gout burden is most likely to continue as the global aging population is on the rise," said senior author Emma Smith, Ph.D., of The University of Sydney, in Australia. "Attempts to lessen the disease onset and future burden of gout require better awareness, especially of risk factors, and early diagnosis and treatment."