Management of gout following 2016/2017 European (EULAR) and British (BSR) guidelines: An interrupted time-series analysis in the United Kingdom

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Abstract

Background: Following studies reporting sub-optimal gout management, European (EULAR) and British (BSR) guidelines were updated to encourage the prescription of urate-lowering therapy (ULT) with a treat-to-target approach. We investigated whether ULT initiation and urate target attainment has improved following publication of these guidelines, and assessed predictors of these outcomes. Methods: We used the Clinical Practice Research Datalink to assess attainment of the following outcomes in people (n = 129,972) with index gout diagnoses in the UK from 2004-2020: i) initiation of ULT; ii) serum urate ≤360 µmol/L and ≤300 µmol/L; iii) treat-to-target urate monitoring. Interrupted time-series analyses were used to compare trends in outcomes before and after updated EULAR and BSR management guidelines, published in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Predictors of ULT initiation and urate target attainment were modelled using logistic regression and Cox proportional hazards. Findings: 37,529 (28.9%) of 129,972 people with newly-diagnosed gout had ULT initiated within 12 months. ULT initiation improved modestly over the study period, from 26.8% for those diagnosed in 2004 to 36.6% in 2019 and 34.7% in 2020. Of people diagnosed in 2020 with a serum urate performed within 12 months, 17.1% attained a urate ≤300 µmol/L, while 36.0% attained a urate ≤360 µmol/L. 18.9% received treat-to-target urate monitoring. No significant improvements in ULT initiation or urate target attainment were observed after updated BSR or EULAR management guidance, relative to before. Comorbidities, including chronic kidney disease (CKD), heart failure and obesity, and diuretic use associated with increased odds of ULT initiation but decreased odds of attaining urate targets within 12 months: CKD (adjusted OR 1.61 for ULT initiation, 95% CI 1.55 to 1.67; adjusted OR 0.51 for urate ≤300 µmol/L, 95% CI 0.48 to 0.55; both p < 0.001); heart failure (adjusted OR 1.56 for ULT initiation, 95% CI 1.48 to 1.64; adjusted OR 0.85 for urate ≤300 µmol/L, 95% CI 0.76 to 0.95; both p < 0.001); obesity (adjusted OR 1.32 for ULT initiation, 95% CI 1.29 to 1.36; adjusted OR 0.61 for urate ≤300 µmol/L, 95% CI 0.58 to 0.65; both p < 0.001); and diuretic use (adjusted OR 1.49 for ULT initiation, 95% CI 1.44 to 1.55; adjusted OR 0.61 for urate ≤300 µmol/L, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.66; both p < 0.001). Interpretation: Initiation of ULT and attainment of urate targets remain poor for people diagnosed with gout in the UK, despite updated management guidelines. If the evidence-practice gap in gout management is to be bridged, strategies to implement best practice care are needed. Funding: National Institute for Health Research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100416
Pages (from-to)100416
JournalThe Lancet Regional Health - Europe
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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