How Gout Hurts All of Us

Treatment is important for the 8 million Americans with gout, a disease caused by uric acid buildup in the body that produces excruciating joint pain.  But public awareness is growing about how gout impacts another group – everybody else.  Now, a new video from the Alliance for Gout Awareness highlights recent research about the disease’s broad social impact.

“Gout Hurts All of Us” depicts gout’s impact on patients’ spouses and family, but it also alludes to how gout impacts workplaces.  Women and men with gout typically miss 4.5 more days of work per year than other Americans do, according to a recent report from The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

Gout also levies a financial toll.  Gout patients costs the U.S. health care system about $53 billion a year, an issue that Kenneth Thorpe, PhD, explained in a recent Alliance for Patient Access podcast. As the Alliance for Gout Awareness’ video explains, “Awareness and treatment mean the people all around you can walk, work, bring home a paycheck, care for their families and keep your community alive.”

Addressing gout’s impact begins with addressing myths that discourage patients from seeking treatment.  A “Fast Facts” issued by the Alliance for Gout Awareness in 2017 encourages patients to broach the issue with their family and friends, whose support they will need as they endure painful flares and attempt lifestyle changes to improve their health.

Other resources include a patient guide from the Global Healthy Living Foundation.  The document offers tips to empower patients to communicate with health care providers, insurers and even legislators about gout and its impact. A 2017 survey by the group confirmed that gout takes a toll on family life and hinders patients’ ability to climb stairs, sleep or walk.  Of the women surveyed, almost half characterized gout as more painful than childbirth.

As the Alliance for Gout Awareness’ new video explains, people’s ability to identify their gout and seek treatment has a ripple effect – impacting productivity, economics and quality of life for all those around them.

To learn more, watch “Gout Hurts All of Us.”

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