Emergency department (ED) visits for gout rose dramatically from 2006 to 2014, especially among individuals aged 45 to 64 years, according to study findings presented at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 2018 Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

During that 9-year period, the number of ED visits for a primary diagnosis of acute gout increased from 168,580 in 2006 to 213,780 in 2014, a 26.8% increase, reported Alka Mithal, MD, of the Institute of Clinical Outcomes Research and Education in Woodside, California, and Gurkipal Singh, MD, adjunct clinical professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, California. The prevalence of ED visits rose from 56.5 per 100,000 population in 2006 to 67 per 100,000 population in 2014. During that same period, individuals aged 45 to 64 years experienced the largest increase in prevalence, jumping from 91 to 116 ED visits per 100,000 population, a 28% increase. Men were responsible 78% of visits in both 2006 and 2014.

The dramatic increase in ED visits in the United States among patients with a primary diagnosis of gout over the 9-year period “reflects a sizeable and owing population of patients with gout whose symptoms are not controlled and not well managed,” Dr Gurkipal, the lead study investigator, stated in a press release. “Often the treatment of gout focuses on alleviating the symptoms of painful gout flares. However, when escalating symptoms reach the threshold of an ED visit, this suggest that the underlying accumulation of uric acid may not have been adequately addressed.”

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The results are based on an analysis of data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, the largest all-payer ED data in the United States.

Horizon Pharma provided research support and funding for the study.


Miathal A, Singh G. Emergency department visits for gout: a dramatic increase in the past decade. Oral presentation at the EULAR 2018 European Congress of Rheumatology in The Netherlands, June 13–16. Abstract OP0185.