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Abstract

Objective

The prevalence of gout is on the rise worldwide, especially among newly industrialized populations. We evaluated the prevalence of gout in the recently established Hmong of Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP) compared with that in non-Hmong populations.

Methods

The prevalence of self-reported gout in the Hmong population was estimated from 2 cross-sectional community surveys and compared with national data extrapolated from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The prevalence of physician-diagnosed gout in Hmong and non-Hmong MSP residents was separately estimated from the diagnosis codes of 11 MSP primary care clinics.

Results

The prevalence of self-reported gout among MSP Hmong was 2-fold higher than in the general US population (6.5% versus 2.9%; P < 0.001). Although women of both groups reported gout at a rate of 1.9%, Hmong men were significantly more likely than their non-Hmong counterparts to report gout (11.5% versus 4.1%; P < 0.001). Similar results were observed when investigating physician-diagnosed gout in MSP (2.8% Hmong versus 1.5% non-Hmong; P < 0.001). No difference was observed between the women of the 2 groups (0.8% versus 0.7%; P = 0.833), whereas Hmong men were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with gout compared with their non-Hmong counterparts (6.1% versus 2.5%; P < 0.001). Among Hmong men, advancing age was associated with a considerably higher likelihood of being diagnosed with gout.

Conclusion

A significant association is observed between Hmong ethnicity and gout, both self-reported and physician diagnosed. This unique population may provide an opportunity to further our understanding of the pathophysiology of gout.