Results from a social media-directed survey of patients with chronic kidney disease and kidney care professionals suggest gout is undiagnosed and undertreated.

The survey was conducted by the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) with an educational grant from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, manufacturer of the gout treatment drug Uloric.

The survey asked patients about their basic knowledge of gout; how professionals approach gout co-occurring with chronic kidney disease (CKD); and what barriers exist to diagnosing and treating gout once a patient is diagnosed with CKD.

“The new survey on gout shows some important findings that can help guide conversations between patients and their health care professionals. The survey shows that kidney patients want more information about gout and how to best treat it, but most are turning to the internet instead of their doctors for advice. The survey also shows a need for professional education on the interrelationships between CKD and gout,” Joseph Vassalotti, MD, chief medical officer of the NKF, said in a press release.

The survey polled 713 patients and health care professionals; 302 were medical professionals who provide primary or nephrology care to adults with CKD; and 411 were adults with CKD, gout/hyperuricemia or both.

Of the health care professionals (HCPs) surveyed, the NKF noted that the survey found:

  • Three-quarters of nephrologists surveyed said they were aware that gout has a bidirectional relationship with CKD
  • Thirty-seven percent of HCPs strongly agreed that CKD can make gout treatment more difficult.
  • Twenty-one percent of HCPs strongly agreed that patients with CKD often require different gout treatment.
  • HCPs who were more knowledgeable about gout reported screening approximately 10% more patients with CKD for gout than those who were not familiar with gout.

Of the patients with CKD surveyed, results showed:

  • Two-thirds of patients said gout affects their daily lives; one-third said gout greatly impacts their lives, and another third said it impacts their lives a fair amount. Almost half of the patients said they had three or more gout flares in the past year, including 15% who had five or more.
  • Three-quarters of patients said they take an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that was not recommended to them to treat their gout, and one-third of patients do not take the recommended prescription or OTC medications for gout.

“Patient actions and physician recommendations regarding gout treatment are not always aligned,” the NKF noted.

“Kidney patients are at an increased risk for experiencing gout. If left untreated, gout can lead to permanent joint damage and increase the risk for kidney stones, which can cause kidney damage,” Vassalotti said. “The survey results bring attention to the impact of CKD and gout, two diseases that continue to increase in prevalence, exacting both a human and financial toll on society and our health care system.” – by NN&I Staff