Gout-related symptoms, comorbid, and sociodemographic factors are associated with changes in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among patients with gout, according to study results published in Rheumatology.

Researchers conducted a 3-year study examining the impact of gout symptoms, comorbidity, and sociodemographic factors on changes in general and gout-specific HRQOL.

The prospective cohort study included survey respondents from 20 general practices in the UK. Eligible participants were aged 18 years and older and sought medical attention for gout or received a prescription for allopurinol or colchicine within the previous 2 years.. After completing the baseline questionnaire, participants answered follow-up questionnaires at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months into the study period.

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A total of 1184 respondents (83.6% men; mean age, 65.6±12.5 years) completed the baseline survey. Subsequently, 818 (80%), 721 (73%), 696 (75%), and 605 (68%) completed the follow-up questionnaires after 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, respectively.

The questionnaire included the Gout Impact Scale, Short Form-36 Physical Function subscale, and health assessment questionnaire disability index.

A total of 494 (42%) patients had 2 or more gout flares within the year before the study.

Lower generic and gout-specific HRQOL scores were associated with self-report measures of gout flare frequency, oligo/polyarticular flares, gout pain, and depression.

In addition, older age, the female sex, and body mass index were associated with worse generic HRQOL (P ≤.05).

Study limitations included the lack of inclusion of tophi and serum urate as variables because of the low numbers of these types coded in the medical records; the diagnosis based on physician discretion rather than monosodium urate crystal identification; and the limited generalizability of the findings.

However, the study authors noted, “Gout-specific, comorbid and socio-demographic factors were associated with change in HRQOL over a [3]-year period highlighting people at risk of worse outcomes who could be targeted for interventions.”


Watson L, Belcher J, Nicholls E, et al. Factors associated with changes in health-related quality of life in people with gout: a three-year prospective cohort study in primary careRheumatology (Oxford). Published online December 21, 2022. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keaa111.137