Women increasingly are being affected by gout, according to data from a recent study.
Researchers at Clinica Reumatologica, University of Genoa in Italy identified 107 patients (90 men) with gout. The mean age of the patients was 63.2 years. Patients were divided into two subgroups, according to the date of their first acute attack: patients with gout onset between 1967 and 2001, and patients with gout onset between 2002 and 2009. Using the date of their first admission into the clinic, patients were further subdivided into two groups: 1989 to 2006 and 2007 to 2009.
Comparing patients with gout onset between 1967 and 2001 with the more recent group, the ratio of men to women changed from 11 to 3 to 2 to 4 (P=.02). According to first admission date, no significant difference in the ratio of men to women was observed.
For patients in the 2002 to 2009 disease onset group, a family history of gout was slightly more frequent (22.7% vs. 6.4%; P=.05) than the earlier group. Researchers also found the median number of acute attacks was higher for patients with gout onset before 2002 (6; range 1-90) compared with the later group (3; range 1-30) (P=.01).
Synovial fluid was examined more frequently during follow-up of the patients who were first admitted from 2007 to 2009 (34.9%) vs. those who were admitted between 1989 and 2006 (7%) (P=.001).
“The increased utilization of synovial fluid analysis suggests a closer attention to the disease in recent years,” the researchers said. “Our data indicating that the patients’ sex ratio has changed over time, with women more frequently affected, could be of importance to clinicians who often believe that gout is a disease affecting males only.”