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Rising Incidence of Acute Hospital Admissions due to Gout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)619-623
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number4
Published1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2020 Journal of Rheumatology. All rights reserved. Copyright: Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

King's Authors


Objective. To describe trends in acute hospital admissions due to gout in England, with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) as a comparator, alongside prescribing trends for common gout medications. Methods. An ecological study was performed using UK National Health Service (NHS) Digital Hospital Episode Statistics data to calculate the incidence of unplanned admissions with primary diagnoses of gout or RA in adults in England between April 2006 and March 2017. NHS Digital Community Prescription data for allopurinol, febuxostat, and colchicine were considered over a similar period. Results. The incidence of unplanned gout admissions increased by 58.4% over the study period, from 7.9 admissions per 100,000 population in 2006/07 to 12.5 admissions per 100,000 population in 2016/17 (p < 0.0001). Gout admissions increased as a proportion of all hospital admissions, and accounted for 349,768 bed-days cumulatively. Unplanned RA admissions halved over the study period, from 8.6 admissions per 100,000 population in 2006/07 to 4.3 admissions per 100,000 population in 2016/17 (p < 0.0001). Community prescriptions dispensed for allopurinol and colchicine have increased by 71.4% and 165.6%, respectively, since 2006 (p < 0.0001). Febuxostat prescriptions have increased 20-fold since 2010 (p < 0.0001), when prescription data became available. Conclusion. Acute gout admissions in England increased between 2006 and 2017, accompanied by increasing prescription of gout therapies. Acute admissions due to RA halved over the same time period. These data call for aggressive target-driven therapy for this highly treatable disease. (First Release February 15 2020; J Rheumatol 2020;47:619-23; doi:10.3899/jrheum.190257).

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