Gout is a chronic disease of monosodium urate deposition characterized by arthritis flares and disability. Lasting days to weeks if untreated, flares are inflammatory, often intensely painful, and debilitating. Separated by asymptomatic intercritical periods, flares can increase in frequency and severity over time. Advanced disease develops in approximately 15% of patients1 and is characterized by subcutaneous nodules composed of monosodium urate (tophi), unremitting articular inflammation, and potential joint erosion and deformity. Although reports suggest a plateauing of incidence in some geographic regions, the worldwide burden of gout has grown in recent decades.2 In the United States, gout has been diagnosed in more than 10 million adults,3 which has contributed to increases in gout-related ambulatory visits and hospitalizations.

Read the rest of the article from Ted R. Mikuls, M.D., M.S.P.H.