Forget port-swilling Victorians: 1 in 40 Brits have gout and cases in young adults increased 30%

Many of us have a mental image of gout sufferers as plump, elderly Victorian gents who drank too much port. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most recent figures reveal 1 in 40 Brits are now suffering from this extremely painful condition, making it the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, and cases have escalated by 30% among younger people in their 20s and 30s.

In more than half of all cases, gout classically manifests as a severely painful, red and hot joint in the big toe. It can then spread to the rest of our feet and hands and even become disabling. Gout is caused by the accumulation of uric acid in blood and tissues, which forms crystals. If these crystals get into a joint, they can trigger inflammation.

Gout flares, as they are called, can be agonising. Yet a leading health expert says it is the only form of arthritis that is entirely curable with treatment and cases can by eliminated by regular monitoring.

Dr Avinash Hari Narayanan (MBChB), Clinical Lead at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘Unfortunately, gout is a condition that is very much still with us, despite the fact that simple blood tests can help identify people likely to suffer a flare before it ever happens.

‘A study published in the journal BMC Primary Care last November found gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis yet, frequently, it is not managed well enough and adherence to treatment is poor.

‘The last major UK study into the condition was held as long ago as 2012. At that time, a report in the British Medical Journal’s (BMJ) Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases revealed cases had risen significantly between 1997 and 2012, with a 63.9% increase in prevalence and 29.6% increase in incidence. Although most gout patients were still 60 or older, the number of patients aged between 20 and 30 had increased by 30%.

‘The 2023 BMC Primary Care report found cases of gout flares are more likely in people who are male, Black, have a higher BMI, suffer from heart failure, chronic kidney disease (CKD), cardiovascular disease (CVD) or who take diuretics.

Yet simple blood tests, such as London Medical Laboratory’s General Health Profile finger-prick test, can quickly and accurately measure urate levels in the blood to help people meet their targets and avoid subsequent flares. The General Health Profile blood test can be taken at home through the post, or at one of the many drop-in clinics that offer these tests across London and nationwide in over 120 selected pharmacies and health stores. For full details, see: https://www.londonmedicallaboratory.com/product/general-health

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4262 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing. Lisa is a qualified Vibrational Therapist and has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.