Gout is an increasingly common medical problem. The traditional risk factors of male sex and high red meat or alcohol consumption have been joined by a wave of newer risk factors, such as increased longevity, the metabolic syndrome (hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, truncal obesity, increased cardiovascular disease risk), use of diuretics, low-dose aspirin, or cyclosporine, and end-stage renal disease. Atypical presentations of gout in the elderly can mimic osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There is a resurgence of interest in hyperuricemia as an independent and potentially modifiable cardiovascular risk factor. The pharmacologic management of gout in general practice suffers from a number of quality-control issues. This article reviews these and other new epidemiologic data on this ancient disease.