Today, gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, yet the vast majority of Americans know almost nothing about it. Research from the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society reveals that three in four Americans don’t recognize what parts of the body gout affects, and more than half are unaware of the potential crippling side effects of gout. Many also do not realize that gout has been linked to serious health issues, including heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes. More alarming, while gout is a serious and debilitating disease that requires lifelong management, just 10 percent of gout sufferers receive needed, ongoing treatment.
As gout incidence continues to climb in the U.S., GUAES remains committed to raising public awareness and to encouraging more gout sufferers to seek treatment – right at their first attack. The new GoutEducation.org website serves as a central location for information on topics ranging from what gout is, to seeking a diagnosis, to strategies for ongoing treatment and management. The website also features a number of patient education resources, including brochures in both English and Spanish, patient fact sheets and videos with guidance and information from physicians and patients.
“People who have gout know that it’s painful, yet far too few are seeking the ongoing treatment that they need to prevent future attacks and subsequent joint damage,” said N. Lawrence Edwards, M.D., a rheumatologist and GUAES chairman. “We hope that the education and resources provided through our website will encourage more sufferers to take the important steps of scheduling routine appointments; getting their uric acid levels checked regularly; and committing to a treatment plan that combines the right medications with dietary and lifestyle changes.”
The new website also includes a portal for medical professionals that provides the most up–to–date guidelines for gout diagnosis and management from the American College of Rheumatology, and features resources that can be shared with patients.