High prevalence of gouty arthritis among the Hmong population in Minnesota




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.


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.


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.


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.