The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has finally published its management guideline on gout, which was delayed due to the pandemic.
The new guidance is primarily aimed at health professionals – to help them diagnose and manage gout more effectively. It includes recommendations on diagnosing gout, managing flares, long-term management, and referral to specialist services.
The guideline states that there are many incorrect beliefs about the causes and treatment of gout, and about the people who have the condition. As a result, NICE has included information on the signs and symptoms of gout – together with its risk factors (e.g., genetics, taking certain medicines, and other health problems such as obesity and chronic kidney disease) in its recommendations.
The guideline makes it clear that people should know that diet and lifestyle changes are not enough to manage their gout, and that long-term urate-lowering therapy (ULT) for the rest of their lives is usually needed. It also recommends a target serum urate level of 360 micromoles per litre (or 300 micromoles per litre if they have repeated attacks, persistent arthritis, or tophi. Tailored information should be provided to people with gout, their family, and carers, at the time of diagnosis and during follow up.
Our medical trustee, Dr Kelsey Jordan (consultant rheumatologist) who was a member of the committee which helped NICE develop the guideline, says: “Gout is an extremely misunderstood and undertreated condition. The UK Gout Society welcomes this new guideline which we hope results in better care and treatment for those living with this extremely painful and debilitating condition.”
Currently between 2-3 percent of the UK population have gout. It usually occurs in men over 30 and women after menopause and is more common in men than women. Long-term complications of gout include joint damage and kidney stones.
To read the guidance in full visit: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/NG219