Gout and Elevated Uric Acid Are Linked to Several Serious Health Risks - Yet Few Americans Understand the Connection
Gout & Uric Acid Education Society Introduces New Educational Brochure Series and Online Resources to Raise Awareness about Need for Early Detection and Ongoing Treatment of Gout
PR Newswire, PITTSBURGH, Sept. 29, 2015
As the incidence of gout continues to climb, it is becoming increasingly important for those who have or who are at risk for gout to take steps to ensure early detection and promote ongoing management of the disease. Over time, gout and elevated uric acid levels in the blood can lead to serious health consequences, including permanent bone and joint damage; kidney stones or disease; diabetes; and heart attack, stroke or heart disease.
Despite the risks of elevated uric acid, researchi from the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society (GUAES) reveals that nearly half of Americans don’t understand why it’s important to have their levels checked regularly - and two-thirds say they have never had their uric acid levels checked, or aren’t sure if they did.
Additionally, the majority of Americans - including people with gout - do not understand that gout and high levels of uric acid can lead to long-term health issues. Half do not know that gout can lead to permanent bone, joint or tissue damage and seven out of 10 don’t know it can lead to deformities. Fewer - just one in five - associate gout with overall health issues such as kidney stones/kidney disease and diabetes, and just over one in 10 connect gout with an increased risk for heart disease.
“This is unfortunate, considering a number of clinical studies have shown that gout and uric acid are very much connected with these health issues,” said N. Lawrence Edwards, M.D., rheumatologist and GUAES chairman. “In fact, research has shown that having gout doubles the risk for heart attack or stroke, and as many as one in five gout patients will develop kidney stones.”Just 1 in 5 Americans associates #gout with other health issues – via @GoutEducation #GoForSix Tweet
Recognizing the need to raise awareness about the link between gout and comorbid health conditions - and the importance of lowering uric acid levels - GUAES has introduced a new, patient-focused brochure series. Four brochures - Gout & Bone/Joint Health, Gout & Diabetes, Gout & Heart Health, and Gout & Kidney Health (co-branded and reviewed by the National Kidney Foundation) - are now available to medical professionals and the general public through GoutEducation.org. Each brochure includes information about the specific health issue and link between gout and hyperuricemia, as well as strategies for controlling gout and protecting long-term health.
In addition to the brochure series, content about each main, comorbid health issue has been added to the GoutEducation.org website.
All materials are part of the new “Go for 6” campaign from GUAES, which urges those who have gout to get their uric acid levels checked every six months, and to work with their doctor to determine a treatment plan for controlling gout and keeping levels to a healthy 6 mg/dL or below.
The Gout & Uric Acid Education Society is a nonprofit organization of health care professionals dedicated to educating the public and health care community about gout - the most common form of inflammatory arthritis - and the related consequences of hyperuricemia. Learn more at GoutEducation.org. Twitter: @GoutEducation Facebook: Gout Education
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i Online survey of 1,001 nationally representative Americans ages 18+, with an oversampling of up to 100 interviews of adults who have been diagnosed with gout. Conducted in August 2015 by Wakefield Research on behalf of the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society.