Prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in the US general population: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2007–2008

Authors

  • Yanyan Zhu,

    1. Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
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  • Bhavik J. Pandya,

    1. Takeda Pharmaceuticals International, Deerfield, Illinois
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  • Hyon K. Choi

    Corresponding author
    1. Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Section of Rheumatology and the Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Boston University School of Medicine, 650 Albany Street, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02118

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    • Dr. Choi has received honoraria for service on advisory boards for Takeda Pharmaceuticals, URL Pharma, Savient Pharmaceuticals, and Novartis Pharma (less than $10,000 each) and has received research funding for other projects from Takeda Pharmaceuticals.


Abstract

Objective

To estimate the prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia based on the latest nationally representative sample of US men and women (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey [NHANES] 2007–2008).

Methods

Using data from 5,707 participants in NHANES 2007–2008, we estimated the prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia. During home interviews for NHANES 2007–2008, all participants were asked about a history of health professional– or physician-diagnosed gout. Our primary definition of hyperuricemia was a serum urate level of >7.0 mg/dl for men and >5.7 mg/dl for women. We explored potential secular trends in these estimates and their possible explanations by comparing them with estimates based on 18,825 participants in NHANES-III (1988–1994).

Results

The prevalence of gout among US adults in 2007–2008 was 3.9% (8.3 million individuals). The prevalence among men was 5.9% (6.1 million), and the prevalence among women was 2.0% (2.2 million). The mean serum urate levels were 6.14 mg/dl among men and 4.87 mg/dl among women, corresponding to hyperuricemia prevalences of 21.2% and 21.6%, respectively. These estimates were higher than those in NHANES-III, with differences of 1.2% in the prevalence of gout (95% confidence interval [95% CI] 0.6, 1.9), 0.15 mg/dl in the serum urate level (95% CI 0.07, 0.24), and 3.2% in the prevalence of hyperuricemia (95% CI 1.2, 5.2). These differences were substantially attenuated after adjusting for body mass index and/or hypertension.

Conclusion

These findings from nationally representative samples of US adults suggest that the prevalence of both gout and hyperuricemia remains substantial and may have increased over the past 2 decades, which is likely related to increasing frequencies of adiposity and hypertension.

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