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The Gout & Uric Acid Education Society (GUAES) Announces New Survey Results Highlighting Major Gaps in Public Awareness of Gout
Date:5/22/2009

New Findings Released on the Third Annual Gout Awareness Day (May 22)

NEW YORK, May 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Gout & Uric Acid Education Society announced today that new survey results reveal alarming gaps in the public's awareness of gout, a painful and potentially debilitating form of arthritis that affects three to five million Americans. In a survey of more than 2,000 Americans, 65% of adults admitted to being "not at all knowledgeable" about gout and just over 70% did not know that gout is a form of arthritis. In fact, gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis among adults.

"There are a number of myths and misconceptions about gout that have complicated efforts to raise public awareness about this condition," said N. Lawrence Edwards, M.D., chairman of the Gout & Uric Acid Education Society, and a specialist in rheumatology and professor of medicine at the University of Florida, Gainesville. "Because of its association with historical figures who suffered from the condition like Henry VIII, Benjamin Franklin and Isaac Newton, some people mistakenly believe that gout is a 'historical' condition. The truth is that gout is very much alive today - in fact, the number of Americans with gout has actually doubled over the past 30 years."

Gout is associated with an abnormally high level of uric acid in the blood (a condition known as hyperuricemia), but more than 4 in 5 adults (83%) said they have not had their uric acid levels checked in the last five years, or weren't sure if they had. Among those who have ever suffered from gout, 35% said they have not had their uric acid levels checked in the last five years, or weren't sure if they had.

A third of adults, and just over half of those who have ever suffered from gout believe that gout is curable. While in many cases gout symptoms can be managed effectively with dietary changes and medication, people
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SOURCE The Gout & Uric Acid Education Society
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