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Gout Survey Offers Peek at the Pain
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Most Gout Patients Believe the Disease Isn't Taken Seriously and That Their Complaints of Pain Are Often Dismissed as Overreaction, Survey Finds
Reviewed By Laura J. Martin, MD
The condition, which also affects women after menopause, is so painful that a new 2010 Gout Attitudes Patient Survey says 37% of people with the disease would trade a winning lottery ticket for an assurance of never suffering another flare of the disease.
Gout is a chronic metabolic condition that occurs when excess uric acid in the body forms crystals that are deposited in the joints, causing swelling and pain.
The survey developed by the Men's Health Network and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc., also finds that:
The 2010 Gout Attitudes Patient Survey, conducted by Braun Research Inc., asked 1,000 patients living with the disease to describe the level of discomfort it causes and the emotional toll it takes.
"The study reveals a startling disconnect between the degree of pain and discomfort patients experience and the reported success of their care or management plan," Zorba Paster, MD, clinical professor of family medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, says in a news release. "Patients need to know that they don't have to 'just live with' a certain number of flares."
He says gout is the result of high uric acid levels in the body and that the disease needs ongoing management with a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.
A gout flare can affect different areas of the body, including wrists, knees, and elbows, although patients most often experience pain in the big toe.
Scott Williams, vice president of Men's Health Network, says the survey's intent is to raise awareness of symptoms and treatments for the disease, which he says is manageable by physicians.
Other findings of the survey:
Gout sufferers were interviewed by telephone. The Men's Health Network says survey results are projectable to a larger population and that the margin of error for findings is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
The Men's Health Network is a national nonprofit organization that says its goals are to save men's lives by reducing the premature mortality of men and boys, to improve the physical and mental health of men, and to work with and through women as the family's health care leader to reach men with important health messages.
Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America Inc. and Takeda Global Research and Development Center Inc. are subsidiaries of Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. The firms market medications for diabetes, insomnia, rheumatology, and gastroenterology.
SOURCES: News release, Men's Health Network, Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America.