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1.  Gout disease-specific quality of life and the association with gout characteristics 
Purpose
Assess the association of gout characteristics with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) using a new gout-specific HRQoL instrument, the Gout Impact Scale (GIS).
Patients and methods
Gout patients completed the GIS (five scales [0–100 score each] representing impact of gout overall [three scales] and during an attack [two scales]) and other questions describing recent gout attacks, treatment, gout history, comorbidities, and demographics. Physicians confirmed gout diagnosis, presence of tophi, and most recent serum uric acid (sUA) level. Relationships between gout characteristics and GIS scores were examined using analysis of variance and correlation analyses.
Results
The majority of patients were male (90.2%) with a mean age of 62.2 (±11.8) years. Approximately one-half (49.7%) reported ≥3 gout attacks in the past year and the majority (57.9%) reported experiencing gout-related pain between attacks. Patients had appreciable concern about their gout (“gout concern overall” scale, 63.1 ± 28.0) but believed their treatment was adequate (“unmet gout treatment need” scale (38.2 ± 21.4) below scale mid-point). Significantly worse GIS scores were associated with increasing attack frequency and greater amount of time with pain between attacks (most scales, P < 0.001). Common objective measures such as sUA level, presence of tophi and the number of joints involved in a typical attack did not appear to be good indicators of the impact of gout on the patients' HRQoL.
Conclusion
Attack frequency and gout pain between attacks were important correlates of patients' ratings of gout impact on their HRQoL. Further studies are needed to determine the minimal important difference for each GIS scale and interpret our results relative to other patient populations with gout.
doi:10.2147/PROM.S8310
PMCID: PMC3113652  PMID: 21686040
Gout impact scale; GIS; patient-reported outcomes
2.  Gout disease-specific quality of life and the association with gout characteristics 
Purpose:
Assess the association of gout characteristics with health-related quality of life (HRQoL) using a new gout-specific HRQoL instrument, the Gout Impact Scale (GIS).
Patients and methods:
Gout patients completed the GIS (five scales [0–100 score each] representing impact of gout overall [three scales] and during an attack [two scales]) and other questions describing recent gout attacks, treatment, gout history, comorbidities, and demographics. Physicians confirmed gout diagnosis, presence of tophi, and most recent serum uric acid (sUA) level. Relationships between gout characteristics and GIS scores were examined using analysis of variance and correlation analyses.
Results:
The majority of patients were male (90.2%) with a mean age of 62.2 (±11.8) years. Approximately one-half (49.7%) reported ≥3 gout attacks in the past year and the majority (57.9%) reported experiencing gout-related pain between attacks. Patients had appreciable concern about their gout (“gout concern overall” scale, 63.1 ± 28.0) but believed their treatment was adequate (“unmet gout treatment need” scale (38.2 ± 21.4) below scale mid-point). Significantly worse GIS scores were associated with increasing attack frequency and greater amount of time with pain between attacks (most scales, P < 0.001). Common objective measures such as sUA level, presence of tophi and the number of joints involved in a typical attack did not appear to be good indicators of the impact of gout on the patients’ HRQoL.
Conclusion:
Attack frequency and gout pain between attacks were important correlates of patients’ ratings of gout impact on their HRQoL. Further studies are needed to determine the minimal important difference for each GIS scale and interpret our results relative to other patient populations with gout.
PMCID: PMC3113652  PMID: 21686040
Gout impact scale; GIS; patient-reported outcomes
3.  Tophi and frequent gout flares are associated with impairments to quality of life, productivity, and increased healthcare resource use: Results from a cross-sectional survey 
Background
The prevalence of gout is increasing, and most research on the associated burden has focused on serum urate (sUA) levels. The present study quantifies the impact of the presence of tophi and frequency of acute gout attacks on health-related quality of life (HRQOL), productivity, and healthcare resource utilization.
Methods
Patients with self-reported gout (n = 620; 338 in US and 282 across France, Germany, and UK) were contacted based on inclusion in the 2010 US and EU National Health and Wellness Surveys (Kantar Health) and the Lightspeed Research ailment panel. Respondents were categorized into mutually-exclusive groups based on number of gout flares experienced in the past 12 months (0/don’t recall, 1–2, 3, 4–5, 6+), current presence of tophi (none, 1+, or not sure), and sUA level awareness (yes, no). HRQOL (SF-12v2), healthcare provider visits in the last 6 months, and work productivity and activity impairment (WPAI) were compared across groups.
Results
Most patients were males, mean age of 61 years, who reported experiencing at least one acute gout flare in the past 12 months, and 12.3% (n = 76) reported presence of tophi. Among the 27.7% (n = 172) of patients who were aware of their sUA levels, higher sUA was associated with more flares and tophi. Decreased HRQOL was associated with more frequent flares and presence of tophi. In multivariable models predicting outcomes based on presence of tophi and number of flares, both flares (≥4) and tophi (≥1) were associated with HRQOL decrements on physical and mental component summary scores and health utilities (all p < 0.05), after adjustment for age, gender, and time since diagnosis. Flares were also associated with greater activity impairment.
Conclusions
Impairments associated with gout flares and presence of tophi, across patients in the US and EU, underscore the importance of effective management of this potentially curable condition.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-10-117
PMCID: PMC3499162  PMID: 22999027
Gout; Quality of life; Productivity; Refractory chronic gout
4.  New advances in the treatment of gout: review of pegloticase 
Treatment-failure gout (TFG) affects approximately 50,000 patients or about 1% of the overall population of patients with gout in the United States of America. The severity of TFG is manifested by frequent acute attacks of disabling arthritis, chronic deforming joint disease, destructive masses of urate crystals (tophi), progressive physical disability, and poor health-related quality of life. Pegloticase (Krystexxa®; Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc), a novel PEGylated urate oxidase (uricase) enzyme, has been resubmitted for US Food and Drug Administration approval. In a 6-month, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 8 mg of pegloticase for every 2 weeks induced a lytic decrease of serum urate (sUr) concentrations, leading to dissolution of tophi in 40% of patients at final visit. However, 58% were nonresponders to the defined target sUr of 0.36 mmol/L (80% were nonresponders during months 3 and 6), possibly due to anti-body formation. Also, 26%–31% experienced infusion reactions (IRs) and 77% suffered from gout flares. Although long-term data are awaited, an anti-inflammatory strategy, eg, based on glucocorticosteroids, is needed to prevent pegloticase antibody formation leading to IRs and diminished or shortened efficacy, and might also prevent gout flares. According to the current clinical data, pegloticase might have an important role as a (bridging) treatment in sUr-responsive patients for tophi clearance in severe chronic refractory gout.
doi:10.2147/TCRM.S6043
PMCID: PMC2988614  PMID: 21127695
pegloticase; hyperuricemia; gout; pharmacotherapy; PEG-uricase
5.  Gout impacts on function and health-related quality of life beyond associated risk factors and medical conditions: results from the KING observational study of the Italian Society for Rheumatology (SIR) 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(5):R101.
Introduction
Gout is the most prevalent arthritis and significantly impacts on function and quality of life. Given that gout associates with disabling comorbid conditions, it is not clear whether such a complex of diseases accounts for the increased disability or if gout may play a role by itself. This study aims to evaluate the specific influence of gout and disease-related features on functional disability and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients with gout followed in rheumatology clinics.
Methods
A random sample of patients was drawn from clinical registries of 30 rheumatology clinics across Italy. Sociodemographic, general health and gout-specific variables were collected. Functional disability and HRQoL were assessed by the health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) and the Physical and Mental Component Summary scores (PCS and MCS) of the Short Form-36 (SF-36). Crude and adjusted ordinal logistic and linear regression models were applied to investigate the specific contribution of different variables on HAQ and SF-36 scores. Results are presented as odds ratio (OR) or mean difference (MD) and 95% confidence intervals.
Results
Out of 446 patients with gout, 90% were males with a mean age of 63.9 years and median disease duration of 3.8 years; the majority of patients were overweight or obese, and with several comorbidities; 21.1% showed at least moderate disability; the PCS score was significantly lower than expected age- and gender-matched samples in the general population, while MCS score was not. After adjusting for potential sociodemographic and general-health confounders, gout-specific variables significantly impacted on HAQ, including polyarticular involvement OR 3.82 (1.63, 8.95), presence of tophi OR 1.92 (1.07, 3.43) and recent attacks OR 2.20 (1.27, 3.81). Consistent results were found for PCS. The impairment of PCS compared to the general population was limited to patients with features of chronic gout. MCS was only affected by recent attacks (MD -2.72 [-4.58, -0.86]) and corticosteroid treatment (-3.39 [-5.30,-1.48]).
Conclusions
The data from the KING study confirm that gout impacts on disability and provide evidence for an independent association of gout and gout-related features with functional outcome and HRQoL. This result supports the need to improve specific treatment in gout.
doi:10.1186/ar4281
PMCID: PMC3979095  PMID: 24004577
6.  Perceptions of disease and health-related quality of life among patients with gout 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2009;48(5):582-586.
Objective. To assess the impact of gout on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) among patients in three large US cities.
Methods. Gout patients completed the Short Form-36 (SF-36) and a series of questions regarding their gout, comorbidities and demographics. Their physicians confirmed the gout diagnosis and evaluated the severity of patient's gout. The differences in mean norm-based SF-36 scores between the US norms and gout patients and between subgroups of gout patients were calculated. The relative weight and significance of gout-related characteristics associated with patients’ HRQoL were also calculated.
Results. The majority of the patients were males with a mean age of 62.2 years and median disease duration of 13.8 years. Most were overweight/obese with several comorbidities. Half of the patients experienced three or more gout attacks per year with a typical gout attack involving five joints and lasting for at least 4 days. The Physical Component Summary (PCS) and Mental Component Summary (MCS) was significantly lower for gout patients (P < 0.002 and P < 0.001, respectively). Among gout patients, the mean PCS and MCS were lower for those with more frequent gout attacks and greater number of affected joints (P < 0.005 and P < 0.001, respectively). After adjusting for age, gender and comorbidities, the number of joints involved during a typical and the worst gout attack had the greatest impact on patient's PCS and MCS.
Conclusion. Gout patients had clinically significant lower HRQoL than their age-matched US norm. Comorbidities and several additional gout-related factors significantly impacted the overall HRQoL.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/kep047
PMCID: PMC2722803  PMID: 19307257
Gout; Health-related quality of life; SF-36; Outcomes
7.  Quality of Life and Quality of Care for patients with Gout 
Current rheumatology reports  2009;11(2):154-160.
Acute and chronic gouty arthritis lead to significant pain, activity limitation and disability and impact patient’s health-related quality of life (HRQoL). Many effective therapies are available for treatment of gouty arthritis, yet medication errors in treatment of gout are common. One of the main goals of therapy is to lower serum uric acid, which in turn leads to a reduction in frequency of gout flares. Evidence suggests that the quality of care provided to patients with gout may impact their HRQoL. This review summarizes the evidence with regards to quality of care and quality of life in patients with gout.
PMCID: PMC3855300  PMID: 19296889
Quality of Life; Quality of care; gout; Health-related quality of Life; HRQoL
8.  Health-related quality of life in gout: a systematic review 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2013;52(11):2031-2040.
Objectives. To identify the instruments that have been used to measure health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in gout and assess their clinimetric properties, determine the distribution of HRQOL in gout and identify factors associated with poor HRQOL.
Methods. Medline, CINAHL, EMBASE and PsycINFO were searched from inception to October 2012. Search terms pertained to gout, health or functional status, clinimetric properties and HRQOL. Study data extraction and quality assessment were performed by two independent reviewers.
Results. From 474 identified studies, 22 met the inclusion criteria. Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) and Short Form 36 (SF-36) were most frequently used and highest rated due to robust construct and concurrent validity, despite high floor and ceiling effects. The Gout Impact Scale had good content validity. Gout had a greater impact on physical HRQOL compared to other domains. Both gout-specific features (attack frequency and intensity, intercritical pain and number of joints involved) and comorbid disease were associated with poor HRQOL. Evidence for objective features such as tophi and serum uric acid was less robust. Limitations of existing studies include cross-sectional design, recruitment from specialist clinic settings and frequent use of generic instruments.
Conclusion. Most studies have used the generic HAQ-DI and SF-36. Gout-specific characteristics and comorbidities contribute to poor HRQOL. There is a need for a cohort study in primary care (where most patients with gout are treated) to determine which factors predict changes in HRQOL over time. This will enable those at risk of deterioration to be identified and better targeted for treatment.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ket265
PMCID: PMC3798715  PMID: 23934311
gout; health-related quality of life; clinimetrics
9.  Minimally important differences of the gout impact scale in a randomized controlled trial 
Rheumatology (Oxford, England)  2011;50(7):1331-1336.
Objective. The Gout Impact Scale (GIS) is a gout-specific quality of life instrument that assesses impact of gout during an attack and impact of overall gout. The GIS has five scales and each is scored from 0 to 100 (worse health). Our objective was to assess minimally important differences (MIDs) for the GIS administered in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) assessing rilonacept vs placebo for prevention of gout flares during initiation of allopurinol therapy.
Methods. Trial subjects ( n = 83) included those with two or more gout flares (self-reported) in the past year. Of these, 73 had data for Weeks 8 vs 4 and formed the MID analysis group and were analysed irrespective of the treatment assignment. Subjects completed the GIS and seven patient-reported anchors. Subjects with a one-step change (e.g. from very poor to poor) were considered as the MID group for each anchor. The mean change in GIS scores and effect size (ES) was calculated for each anchor’s MID group. The average of these created the overall summary MID statistics for each GIS. An ES of 0.2–0.5 was considered to represent MID estimates.
Results. Trial subjects (n = 73) were males (96.0%), White (90.4%), with mean age of 50.5 years and serum uric acid of 9.0 mg/dl. The mean change score for the MID improvement group for scales ranged from −5.24 to −7.61 (0–100 scale). The ES for the MID improvement group for the four scales ranged from 0.22 to 0.38.
Conclusion. The MID estimates for GIS scales are between 5 and 8 points (0–100 scale). This information can aid in interpreting the GIS results in future gout RCTs.
Trial Registration. Clinicaltrials.gov, www.clinicaltrials.gov, NCT00610363.
doi:10.1093/rheumatology/ker023
PMCID: PMC3307519  PMID: 21372003
Gout assessment questionnaire; Gout impact scale; Minimally important difference; Minimal clinically important differences; Rilonacept; Clinical trial design; Health-related quality of life; Health status
10.  Patient-reported Outcomes in Chronic Gout: A Report from OMERACT 10 
The Journal of rheumatology  2011;38(7):10.3899/jrheum.110271.
Objective
To summarize the endorsement of measures of patient-reported outcome (PRO) domains in chronic gout at the 2010 Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Meeting (OMERACT 10).
Methods
During the OMERACT 10 gout workshop, validation data were presented for key PRO domains including pain [pain by visual analog scale (VAS)], patient global (patient global VAS), activity limitation [Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index (HAQ-DI)], and a disease-specific measure, the Gout Assessment Questionnaire version 2.0 (GAQ v2.0). Data were presented on all 3 aspects of the OMERACT filters of truth, discrimination, and feasibility. One PRO, health-related quality of life measurement with the Medical Outcomes Study Short-form 36 (SF-36), was previously endorsed at OMERACT 9.
Results
One measure for each of the 3 PRO of pain, patient global, and activity limitation was endorsed by > 70% of the OMERACT delegates to have appropriate validation data. Specifically, pain measurement by VAS was endorsed by 85%, patient global assessment by VAS by 73%, and activity limitation by HAQ-DI by 71%. GAQ v2.0 received 30% vote and was not endorsed due to several concerns including low internal consistency and lack of familiarity with the measure. More validation studies are needed for this measure.
Conclusion
With the endorsement of one measure each for pain, patient global, SF-36, and activity limitation, all 4 PRO for chronic gout have been endorsed. Future validation studies are needed for the disease-specific measure, GAQ v2.0. Validation for PRO for acute gout will be the focus of the next validation exercise for the OMERACT gout group.
doi:10.3899/jrheum.110271
PMCID: PMC3850171  PMID: 21724715
PATIENT-REPORTED OUTCOMES; CHRONIC GOUT; VALIDATION; PAIN; PATIENT GLOBAL; FUNCTIONAL LIMITATION
11.  Veterans Affairs databases are accurate for gout-related health care utilization: a validation study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(6):R224.
Introduction
The aim of this study was to assess the accuracy of Veterans Affairs (VA) databases for gout-related health care utilization.
Methods
This retrospective study utilized VA administrative and clinical databases. A random sample of gout patients with visits (outpatient, inpatient or emergent/urgent care) with or without the diagnosis of gout (International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision, common modification ICD-9-CM code of 274.x or 274.xx) at the Birmingham VA hospital was selected. A blinded abstractor performed a review of VA electronic health records for the documentation of gout or gout-related terms (gouty arthritis, tophaceous gout, tophus/tophi, acute gout, chronic gout, podagra, urate stones, urate or uric acid crystals and so on) in the chief complaint, history of present illness or assessment and plan for the visit; this constituted the gold standard for gout-related utilization. The accuracy of database-derived gout-related claims was assessed by calculating sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values (PPV and NPV).
Results
Of 108 potential visits, 85 outpatient, inpatient or urgent care/emergency room visits to a health care provider (85 patients: 84 men and 1 woman with a mean age of 63 years) and retrievable data from medical records constituted the analyzed dataset. Administrative claims for gout-related utilization with ICD-9 code for gout were accurate with a PPV of 86%, specificity of 95%, sensitivity of 86% and NPV of 95%.
Conclusions
VA databases are accurate for gout-related visits. These findings support their use for studies of health services and outcome studies. It remains to be seen if these findings are generalizable to other settings and databases.
doi:10.1186/ar4425
PMCID: PMC3979008  PMID: 24377421
12.  Prescription and dosing of urate-lowering therapy, rather than patient behaviours, are the key modifiable factors associated with targeting serum urate in gout 
Background
Long term serum urate (SU) lowering to a target of <0.36 mmol/l (6 mg/dl) is recommended for effective gout management. However, many studies have reported low achievement of SU targets. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to examine the clinical and psychological factors associated with SU targets in patients with gout.
Methods
Patients with gout for <10 years were recruited from primary and secondary care settings. SU target was defined as SU concentration <0.36 mmol/L at the time of the study visit. Both clinical and psychological factors associated with SU target were analysed. The relationship between SU target and measures of gout activity such as flare frequency, tophi, work absences, and Health Assessment Questionnaire-II was also analysed.
Results
Of the 273 patients enrolled into the study, 89 (32.6%) had SU concentration <0.36 mmol/L. Urate-lowering therapy (ULT) use was strongly associated with SU target (p < 0.001). In those patients prescribed ULT (n = 181), allopurinol dose, patient confidence to keep SU under control, female sex, and ethnicity were independently associated with SU target. Other patient psychological measures and health-related behaviours, including adherence scores, were not independently associated with SU target in those taking ULT. Creatinine clearance, diuretic use, age, and body mass index were not associated with SU target. Patients at SU target reported lower gout flare frequency, compared with those not at target (p = 0.03).
Conclusions
ULT prescription and dosing are key modifiable factors associated with achieving SU target. These data support interventions focusing on improved use of ULT to optimise outcomes in patients with gout.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-174
PMCID: PMC3493372  PMID: 22978848
Gout; Urate; Target; Allopurinol
13.  Prospective observational cohort study of Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL), chronic foot problems and their determinants in gout: a research protocol 
Background
Gout is the commonest inflammatory arthritis affecting around 1.4% of adults in Europe. It is predominantly managed in primary care and classically affects the joints of the foot, particularly the first metatarsophalangeal joint. Gout related factors (including disease characteristics and treatment) as well as comorbid chronic disease are associated with poor Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) yet to date there is limited evidence concerning gout in a community setting. Existing epidemiological studies are limited by their cross-sectional design, selection of secondary care patients with atypical disease and the use of generic tools to measure HRQOL. This 3 year primary care-based prospective observational cohort study will describe the spectrum of HRQOL in community dwelling patients with gout, associated factors, predictors of poor outcome, and prevalence and incidence of foot problems in gout patients.
Methods
Adults aged ≥ 18 years diagnosed with gout or prescribed colchicine or allopurinol in the preceding 2 years will be identified through Read codes and mailed a series of self-completion postal questionnaires over a 3-year period. Consenting participants will have their general practice medical records reviewed.
Discussion
This is the first prospective cohort study of HRQOL in patients with gout in primary care in the UK. The combination of survey data and medical record review will allow an in-depth understanding of factors that are associated with and lead to poor HRQOL and foot problems in gout. Identification of these factors will improve the management of this prevalent, yet under-treated, condition in primary care.
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-219
PMCID: PMC3517766  PMID: 23148573
Gout; HRQOL; Foot; Patient experience; Prospective cohort; Primary care
14.  Racial and Gender Disparities in Patients with Gout 
Gout affects 8.3 million Americans according to NHANES 2007–2008, roughly 3.9% of the U.S. population. Gout has significant impact on physical function, productivity, health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and health care costs. Uncontrolled gout is also associated with significant utilization of emergent care services. Women are less likely to have gout than men, but in the postmenopausal years the gender difference in disease incidence decreases. Compared to Whites, racial/ethnic minorities, especially blacks, have higher prevalence of gout. On the other hand, blacks are less likely to receive quality gout care, leading to a disproportionate morbidity. Women are less likely than men to receive allopurinol, less likely to get joint aspirations for crystal analyses for establishing diagnosis, but those on urate-lowering therapy are as/more likely as men to get serum urate check within 6-months of initiation. While a few studies provide the knowledge related to gender and race/ethnicity disparities in gout, several knowledge gaps exist in gout epidemiology and outcomes differences by gender and race/ethnicity. These should be explored in future studies.
doi:10.1007/s11926-012-0307-x
PMCID: PMC3545402  PMID: 23315156
Gout; Hyperuricemia; Race; Ethnicity; Gender; Disparity; Epidemiology; Prevalence; Genetic risk factors; Adverse effects
15.  Lack of change in urate deposition by dual-energy computed tomography among clinically stable patients with long-standing tophaceous gout: a prospective longitudinal study 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2013;15(5):R160.
Introduction
Dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) has potential for monitoring urate deposition in patients with gout. The aim of this prospective longitudinal study was to analyse measurement error of DECT urate volume measurement in clinically stable patients with tophaceous gout.
Methods
Seventy-three patients with tophaceous gout on stable therapy attended study visits at baseline and twelve months. All patients had a comprehensive clinical assessment including serum urate testing and DECT scanning of both feet. Two readers analysed the DECT scans for the total urate volume in both feet. Analysis included inter-reader intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs) and limits of agreement, and calculation of the smallest detectable change.
Results
Mean (standard deviation) serum urate concentration over the study period was 0.38 (0.09) mmol/L. Urate-lowering therapy was prescribed in 70 (96%) patients. The median (interquartile range) baseline DECT urate volume was 0.49 (0.16, 2.18) cm3, and change in DECT urate volume was -0.01 (-0.40, 0.28) cm3. Inter-reader ICCs were 1.00 for baseline DECT volumes and 0.93 for change values. Inter-reader bias (standard deviation) for baseline volumes was -0.18 (0.63) cm3 and for change was -0.10 (0.93) cm3. The smallest detectable change was 0.91 cm3. There were 47 (64%) patients with baseline DECT urate volumes <0.91 cm3. Higher serum urate concentrations were observed in patients with increased DECT urate volumes above the smallest detectable change (P = 0.006). However, a relationship between changes in DECT urate volumes and serum urate concentrations was not observed in the entire group.
Conclusions
In patients with tophaceous gout on stable conventional urate-lowering therapy the measurement error for DECT urate volume assessment is substantially greater than the median baseline DECT volume. Analysis of patients commencing or intensifying urate-lowering therapy should clarify the optimal use of DECT as a potential outcome measure in studies of chronic gout.
doi:10.1186/ar4343
PMCID: PMC3978645  PMID: 24286500
16.  Concordance of the management of chronic gout in a UK primary‐care population with the EULAR gout recommendations 
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases  2007;66(10):1311-1315.
Objectives
To assess concordance of the management of chronic gout in UK primary care with the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) gout recommendations.
Methods
A postal questionnaire was sent to all adults aged >30 years registered with two general practices. Patients with possible gout attended for clinical assessment, at which the diagnosis was verified clinically. Aspects of chronic gout management, including provision of lifestyle modification advice, use of urate‐lowering therapies (ULT) including dose titration to serum urate (SUA) level, prophylaxis against acute attacks, and diuretic cessation were assessed in accordance with the EULAR recommendations.
Results
Of 4249 (32%) completed questionnaires returned, 488 reported gout or acute attacks and were invited for clinical assessment. Of 359 attendees, 164 clinically confirmed cases of gout were identified. Advice regarding alcohol consumption was recalled by 59 (41%), weight loss by 36 (25%) and diet by 42 (29%). Allopurinol was the only ULT used and was taken by 44 (30%); 31 (70%) were taking 300 mg daily. Mean SUA was lower in allopurinol users than non‐users (318 vs 434 μmol/l) and was less often >360 μmol/l in allopurinol users (23% vs 75%). Eight patients had recently commenced allopurinol; two of these also were taking prophylactic colchicine or non‐steroidal anti‐inflammatory drugs. Of 25 patients with diuretic‐induced gout, 16 (64%) were still taking a diuretic.
Conclusion
Treatment of chronic gout is often suboptimal and poorly concordant with EULAR recommendations. Lifestyle advice is infrequently offered, and allopurinol is restricted to a minority. Persistent hyperuricaemia was often seen in allopurinol non‐users, but was also in allopurinol users, suggesting that doses >300 mg are often necessary.
doi:10.1136/ard.2007.070755
PMCID: PMC1994300  PMID: 17504843
gout; primary health care; lifestyle risk reduction; allopurinol; EULAR recommendations
17.  Refractory Gout Attack 
Case Reports in Medicine  2012;2012:657694.
Refractory gout attack is an uncommon problem, since gout flares are usually self-limited. This clinical condition is characterized by serum uric acid higher than 6 mg/Dl or continuous manifestations of recurrent flares, chronic arthritis, and increased tophi. We report in this paper a 69-year-old man with a polyarticular and protracted gout attack, despite usual treatment and low urate sera levels. In order to manage this problem, we reviewed gout pathophysiology and developed a therapeutic solution based on benzbromarone pharmacokinetics. We also review herein new options for gout treatment that could be used in similar cases.
doi:10.1155/2012/657694
PMCID: PMC3523317  PMID: 23304159
18.  Gout. Novel therapies for treatment of gout and hyperuricemia 
In the past few decades, gout has increased not only in prevalence, but also in clinical complexity, the latter accentuated in part by a dearth of novel advances in treatments for hyperuricemia and gouty arthritis. Fortunately, recent research reviewed here, much of it founded on elegant translational studies of the past decade, highlights how gout can be better managed with cost-effective, well-established therapies. In addition, the advent of both new urate-lowering and anti-inflammatory drugs, also reviewed here, promises for improved management of refractory gout, including in subjects with co-morbidities such as chronic kidney disease. Effectively delivering improved management of hyperuricemia and gout will require a frame shift in practice patterns, including increased recognition of the implications of refractory disease and frequent noncompliance of patients with gout, and understanding the evidence basis for therapeutic targets in serum urate-lowering and gouty inflammation.
doi:10.1186/ar2738
PMCID: PMC2745774  PMID: 19664185
19.  African American patients with gout: efficacy and safety of febuxostat vs allopurinol 
Background
African Americans are twice as likely as Caucasians to develop gout, but they are less likely to be treated with urate-lowering therapy (ULT). Furthermore, African Americans typically present with more comorbidities associated with gout, such as hypertension, obesity, and renal impairment. We determined the efficacy and safety of ULT with febuxostat or allopurinol in African American subjects with gout and associated comorbidities and in comparison to Caucasian gout subjects.
Methods
This is a secondary analysis of the 6-month Phase 3 CONFIRMS trial. Eligible gouty subjects with baseline serum urate (sUA) ≥ 8.0 mg/dL were randomized 1:1:1 to receive febuxostat 40 mg, febuxostat 80 mg, or allopurinol (300 mg or 200 mg depending on renal function) daily. All subjects received gout flare prophylaxis. Primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion of subjects in each treatment group with sUA < 6.0 mg/dL at the final visit. Additional endpoints included the proportion of subjects with mild or with moderate renal impairment who achieved a target sUA < 6.0 mg/dL at final visit. Adverse events (AEs) were recorded throughout the study.
Results
Of the 2,269 subjects enrolled, 10.0% were African American and 82.1% were Caucasian. African American subjects were mostly male (89.5%), obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2; 67.1%), with mean baseline sUA of 9.8 mg/dL and mean duration of gout of 10.4 years. The proportions of African American subjects with a baseline history of diabetes, renal impairment, or cardiovascular disease were significantly higher compared to Caucasians (p < 0.001). ULT with febuxostat 80 mg was superior to both febuxostat 40 mg (p < 0.001) and allopurinol (p = 0.004). Febuxostat 40 mg was comparable in efficacy to allopurinol. Significantly more African American subjects with mild or moderate renal impairment achieved sUA < 6.0 mg/dL in the febuxostat 80 group than in either the febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol group (p < 0.05). Efficacy rates in all treatment groups regardless of renal function were comparable between African American and Caucasian subjects, as were AE rates.
Conclusions
In African American subjects with significant comorbidities, febuxostat 80 mg is significantly more efficacious than either febuxostat 40 mg or allopurinol 200/300 mg. Febuxostat was well tolerated in this African American population.
Please see related article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/10/15
doi:10.1186/1471-2474-13-15
PMCID: PMC3317813  PMID: 22316106
20.  Effect of Fenofibrate in Combination with Urate Lowering Agents in Patients with Gout 
Background
To assess the efficacy of fenofibrate treatment in combination with urate lowering agents in patients with gout.
Methods
Fourteen male patients with chronic tophaceous or recurrent acute attacks of gout were evaluated in an open-label pilot study of the hypolipidemic agent, fenofibrate (Lipidil Supra® 160 mg/d). Patients were stable on urate lowering agents (allopurinol or benzbromarone) for ≥three months without acute attack for the most recent one month before participating. All patients were being treated with established doses of urate lowering agents without modification throughout the study. Clinical and biochemical assessments including serum uric acid, creatinine, liver function test and fasting serum lipid were measured at (1) baseline (2) after two months of fenofibrate treatment and (3) two months after fenofibrate was withdrawn.
Results
Serum uric acid was lowered by 23% after two months of fenofibrate treatment (6.93±2.16 vs. 5.22±1.16 mg/dL; p=0.016). Triglyceride levels were also reduced after fenofibrate treatment (p=0.001). However, this effect was reversed after the withdrawal (p=0.002) of the drug. Alkaline phosphatase was reduced after fenofibrate treatment (p=0.006), but increased 21% after the withdrawal of the drug (p=0.002). By contrast, serum levels of high density lipoprotein and creatinine were increased 9% (p=0.018) and 12% (p=0.006), respectively; however, both levels were significantly decreased to the baseline levels upon withdrawal of fenofibrate.
Conclusions
Fenofibrate can effectively reduce uric acid levels in addition to its known hypolipidemic effect. Fenofibrate may be used as a potential urate lowering agent in patients with gout, especially in those with coexisting hyperlipidemia.
doi:10.3904/kjim.2006.21.2.89
PMCID: PMC3890742  PMID: 16913436
Fenofibrate; Gout; Hyperuricemia; Hyperlipidemia
21.  Minimal clinically important differences in health-related quality of life after total hip or knee replacement 
Bone & Joint Research  2012;1(5):71-77.
Objectives
We aimed first to summarise minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs) after total hip (THR) or knee replacement (TKR) in health-related quality of life (HRQoL), measured using the Short-Form 36 (SF-36). Secondly, we aimed to improve the precision of MCID estimates by means of meta-analysis.
Methods
We conducted a systematic review of English and non-English articles using MEDLINE, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (1960–2011), EMBASE (1991–2011), Web of Science, Academic Search Premier and Science Direct. Bibliographies of included studies were searched in order to find additional studies. Search terms included MCID or minimal clinically important change, THR or TKR and Short-Form 36. We included longitudinal studies that estimated MCID of SF-36 after THR or TKR.
Results
Three studies met our inclusion criteria, describing a distinct study population: primary THR, primary TKR and revision THR. No synthesis of study results can be given.
Conclusions
Although we found MCIDs in HRQoL after THR or TKR have limited precision and are not validated using external criteria, these are still the best known estimates of MCIDs in HRQoL after THR and TKR to date. We therefore advise these MCIDs to be used as absolute thresholds, but with caution.
doi:10.1302/2046-3758.15.2000065
PMCID: PMC3626243  PMID: 23610674
Minimal clinically important differences; Health-related quality of life; SF-36; Total hip replacement; Total knee replacement; Systematic review
22.  Management of hyperuricemia in gout: focus on febuxostat 
Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in an elderly population, and can be diagnosed with absolute certainty by polarization microscopy. However, diagnosis may be challenging because atypical presentations are more common in the elderly. Management of hyperuricemia in the elderly with gout requires special consideration because of co-medication, contra-indications, and risk of adverse reactions. Urate-lowering agents include allopurinol and uricosuric agents. These also must be used sensibly in the elderly, especially when renal function impairment is present. However, if used at the lowest dose that maintains the serum urate level below 5.0 to 6.0 mg/dL (0.30 to 0.36 mmol/L), the excess urate in the body will eventually be eliminated, acute flares will no longer occur, and tophi will resolve. Febuxostat, a new xanthine oxidase inhibitor, is welcomed, as few alternatives for allopurinol are available. Its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are not significantly altered in patients with moderate renal function or hepatic impairment. Its antihyperuricemic efficacy at 80 to 120 mg/day is better than “standard dosage” allopurinol (300 mg/day). Long-term safety data and efficacy data on tophus diminishment and reduction of gout flares have recently become available. Febuxostat may provide an important option in patients unable to use allopurinol, or refractory to allopurinol.
PMCID: PMC2817937  PMID: 20169038
aging; febuxostat; hyperuricemia; gout; pharmacotherapy; xanthine oxidase
23.  New and improved strategies for the treatment of gout 
The Western world appears to be in the midst of the third great gout epidemic of all time. In this century, gout is increasing in prevalence despite an increased understanding of its risk factors and pathophysiology, and the availability of reasonably effective treatment. The main cultural factors responsible for this appear to be diet, obesity, ethanol use and medications. Excess fructose consumption is a newly recognized modifiable risk factor. The debate has been renewed concerning hyperuricemia as an independent risk factor for renal insufficiency and cardiovascular disease. Prevention is still rooted in lifestyle choices. Existing treatments have proven to be unsatisfactory in many patients with comorbidities. New treatments are available today and on the horizon for tomorrow, which offer a better quality of life for gout sufferers. These include febuxostat, a nonpurine inhibitor of xanthine oxidase with a potentially better combination of efficacy and safety than allopurinol, and investigational inhibitors of URAT-1, an anion exchanger in the proximal tubule that is critical for uric acid homeostasis. New abortive treatments include interleukin-1 antagonists that can cut short the acute attack in 1 to 2 days in persons who cannot take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine or corticosteroids. Lastly, newer formulations of uricase have the ability to dissolve destructive tophi over weeks or months in patients who cannot use currently available hypouricemic agents. Diagnostically, ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging offer advanced ways to diagnose gout noninvasively, and just as importantly, a way to follow the progress of tophus dissolution. The close association of hyperuricemia with metabolic syndrome, hypertension and renal insufficiency ensures that nephrologists will see increasing numbers of gout-afflicted patients.
doi:10.2147/IJNRD.S6048
PMCID: PMC3108771  PMID: 21694941
hyperuricemia; metabolic syndrome; tophi; colchicine; febuxostat; allopurinol
24.  Health Care Utilization in Patients with Gout 
Objective
To study health care utilization patterns in patients with gout.
Methods
In a gout population from primary care and rheumatology clinics in three U.S. metropolitan cities, we collected data on gout-related utilization (primary care, rheumatology, urgent care, emergency room and other) in the past year. We evaluated the association of comorbidities, age, gender, gout characteristics (time since last gout attack and tophi) and gout severity ratings (mean of serum uric acid, patient-rated and physician-rated gout severity) and with emergency/urgent care and primary care utilization using regression and correlation analyses.
Results
Of the 296 patients who reported visiting at least one type of health practitioner for gout in the past year, percent of patients utilizing the service at least once and annual utilization rates among utilizers were: primary care physician, 60%, 3.0±3.4; nurse practitioner/physician assistant, 26%, 2.7±2.5; rheumatologist, 51%, 3.7±5.7; urgent care, 23%, 2.1±2.2; emergency room, 20%, 2.0±1.7; and hospitalization, 7%, 2.1±1.4. Higher overall gout severity was associated with greater use of each resource type and with overall gout-related utilization. Non- emergency/non-urgent care utilization (primary care physician, nurse practitioner, physician’s assistant and rheumatologist for gout) was the strongest predictor of gout-related emergency/urgent care utilization. Patients with more comorbidities had greater gout-related primary care utilization.
Conclusions
Overall gout severity was associated with all types of gout-related utilization. This may help to screen high utilizers for targeted behavioral and therapeutic interventions. Having a higher number of comorbid conditions was a risk factor for higher gout-related primary care utilization.
doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2010.07.001
PMCID: PMC3026897  PMID: 20828793
Health care utilization; gout; predictors; resource utilization; gout severity
25.  Sonographic description and classification of tendinous involvement in relation to tophi in chronic tophaceous gout 
Insights into Imaging  2010;1(3):143-148.
Objective
To describe and classify the varied ultrasound features of tendinous involvement in relation to tophi in chronic tophaceous gout so that they are better recognised.
Methods
Ultrasound images of 138 affected areas from 31 patients with chronic tophaceous gout were analysed using high-quality broadband linear transducers. The relationship between tendon and tophi was classified, and the inter-observer agreement regarding classification was analysed.
Results
Tophi envelopment in the tendon was the most frequent characteristic (45%) followed by no relationship between tophi and tendon (41%), tophi at the insertion site of the tendon (7%), extrinsic compression (6%) and tophi within the tendon (1%). The inter-observer concordance on classification of the relationship between tophi and tendon was measured using McNemar’s test with P < 0.001 (χ2 = 30.0, degree of freedom = 9) and kappa test = 0.627 (P < 0.001), indicating substantial inter-observer concordance.
Conclusion
Tophi generally envelope the tendon or there is no relationship between them. Tophi can also be found at the insertion site of the tendon, cause extrinsic compression or be located inside the tendon. There is substantial inter-observer agreement for ultrasound classification of tendon involvement by tophi. This study contributes to diagnostic elucidation and shows the diverse characteristic forms of tendon involvement by tophi.
doi:10.1007/s13244-010-0031-x
PMCID: PMC3259308  PMID: 22347911
Gout; Arthritis; Tendon injuries; Ultrasound; Diagnosis

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