Highlights from

EULAR 2019

European Congress of Rheumatology

Madrid 12-15 June 2019

Gout in Europe is diagnosed late, and poorly controlled

A survey conducted in 14 European countries indicates that gout is diagnosed late, and many physicians are not aware of the impact of gout on patient’s life [1]. Also, most patients experience their current treatment as the best they can get. There is a clear need to educate patients and physicians on optimal gout management.

Gout, the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, is treatable and can be effectively managed in the majority of patients [2]. However, little is known about current management of gout and patient satisfaction. A 15-minute online-survey from 14 European countries evaluated the diagnosis and treatment of gout from a patient’s perspective with the aim to improve their quality of life.

A total of 1,100 gout patients (78% males, mean age 55 years), completed the survey in 2018. In total, 71% had flares in the past 12 months. Comorbidities such as hypertension, dyslipidaemia, or type 2 diabetes occurred in 77% of patients.

Participants reported that general practitioners rather than rheumatologists are involved in diagnosis (73% vs 8%), discussion of gout (68% vs 15%) and treatment of recent gout flare (59% vs 11%). As much as 22% of patients remained undiagnosed until they had 4 or more flares. Poor gout control was higher in patients <35 years, compared to patients >65 years of age. Follow-up appointments are unregular in 59% of patients, and 53% are monitored for serum uric acid less than twice a year. With regard to treatment, 58% of patients use uric acid lowering therapies, 43% pain killers, 25% colchicine, 13% non-medical pain relief and 12% corticosteroids.

"Our results demonstrate that gout has a significant impact on the lives of patients and their families. Although it is easily treatable, there are significant gaps in the current management of gout," said Dr Marc de Meulemeester (general practitioner in Belgium). Surprisingly, the majority of patients (79%) claim to be satisfied with current treatment and do not expect better management of their disease.

  1. De Meulemeester M, et al. OP0157-HPR. EULAR 2019

  2. Kuo C-F, et al. Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2015 Nov;11 (11):649–62.

The content and interpretation of these conference highlights are the views and comments of the speakers/authors.