Moving the Needle: Improving the Care of the Gout Patient.
Gout is a the most common inflammatory arthritis in the United States. It is a significant cause of morbidity, disability, lost work days, and high healthcare utilization due to intermittent attacks, chronic inflammation, and joint damage. Despite our understanding of the prelude and pathophysiology of gout, hyperuricemia, it is still poorly misunderstood by patients and poorly managed by healthcare providers. Several parallel treatment paradigms have been developed by professional societies around the world based on the understanding of how hyperuricemia occurs, gout epidemiology, expert opinion, and clinical trials data in order to lower uric acid and eventually eliminate the patient's crystal burden. This review focuses on both the treatment of acute attacks, and more importantly, the long-term management of gout and the lowering of serum uric acid levels to a goal of < 6 mg/dl (0.360 mmol/l) or treating to target. Treating to a target serum uric acid goal is an opportunity to decrease morbidity and improve the quality of care of every gout patient.
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