The US prevalence of gout, a rapidly progressive inflammatory arthritic condition linked to serum uric acid levels, has grown in recent years, in part due to the increasing prevalence and incidence of predisposing factors in the population, such as metabolic syndrome, obesity, and the use of diuretics. Left untreated, gout can be debilitating and cause deformity. Although a definitive diagnosis requires joint aspiration, only approximately 11% of patients with suspected gout undergo this procedure, and a presumptive diagnosis based on patient medical history and presentation with characteristic symptoms and comorbidities is a reasonable guidelines-based approach that has utility in the primary care setting, where approximately 70% of all cases and nearly 3,000,000 visits occur. The therapeutic standard for patients with recurrent gout flares is urate-lowering therapy (ULT), including allopurinol and the recently introduced febuxostat, the first new treatment for gout in 40 years. Although ULT must be taken consistently to sustain benefits, inadequate dosing and patient nonadherence or intolerance to therapy often lead to treatment failure. It is important that primary care clinicians understand gout diagnosis and therapeutic approaches and can communicate effectively with patients to improve treatment adherence. ONLINE ACCESS: http://cmeaccess.com/cme/ajm_gout_program/ This CME Multimedia Activity is also available through the Website of The American Journal of Medicine (www.amjmed.com). Click on the CME Multimedia Activity button in the navigation bar for full access.
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