Gout is inadequately controlled in more than two-thirds of sufferers, adversely affecting their health-related quality of life (HRQOL), daily functioning, and work productivity, researchers found.

In a study of 1,204 gout sufferers with a mean age of 61.9 years, Robert Wood, BSc, of Adelphi Real World in Cheshire, U.K., and colleagues found that 836 (69%) had inadequately controlled and 368 (31%) had adequately controlled gout, according to an online report in The Journal of Rheumatology. The authors defined inadequate control as a serum uric acid (SUA) level greater than 6 mg/dL on the most recent SUA test or 2 or more flares in the past 12 months and adequate control as an SUA level of 6 mg/dL or less and no flares.

Patients with inadequately controlled gout reported significantly worse functioning and HRQOL as measured by the EQ-5D and Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System Health Assessment Questionnaire (PROMIS HAQ) scales. Significantly more inadequately controlled versus adequately controlled patients reported problems with pain/discomfort, self-care, anxiety/depression, mobility, and performing usual activities.

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In addition, patients with inadequately controlled gout missed significantly more work time than those with adequately controlled group (4.5% vs. 1.3%). They also had greater overall work impairment due to gout.

“Improved gout treatment strategies remain a critical unmet need; steps to enhance the control of hyperuricemia may lead to gout symptom improvements and a resultant increase in HRQOL and work productivity,” the authors concluded.