Perceptions of disease and health-related quality of life among patients with gout

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2009 May;48(5):582-6. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kep047. Epub 2009 Mar 23.


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.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Gout / epidemiology
  • Gout / pathology
  • Gout / psychology
  • Gout / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • United States / epidemiology