Two-Thirds of Surveyed People Living with Gout Feel Condition is Not Taken Seriously, Despite Nearly Half Describing Pain as 'Excruciating'

Jun 10, 2010, 09:00 ET from Men's Health Network from ,Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2010 Gout Attitudes Patient Survey (GAPS), a new study of Americans with gout, released today by Men's Health Network (MHN), sheds light on the painful reality of what life is like for the approximately five million Americans who live with this condition. Of those surveyed, 69 percent described the pain of a gout attack as "miserable," yet a quarter of gout patients feel that those without gout perceive them as overreacting to attacks, and 67 percent feel as though others do not take the condition seriously.

The 2010 GAPS, conducted by Braun Research, Inc., surveyed 1,000 individuals living with gout. The survey sought to assess the level of discomfort or pain they have experienced, the emotional toll that gout has on those living with it and how well these individuals understand their condition.

Key findings of the survey included:

  • When asked to describe the physical sensation of a gout attack, 23 percent of gout patients compared the pain to shattered glass piercing their skin, 28 percent to breaking a bone and 34 percent to a severe burn.
  • The survey also asked patients, theoretically, what they would give up in exchange for never having another gout flare – 37 percent responded that they would give up winning the lottery and 22 percent said they would give up a year's worth of vacation time.
  • Although a third of respondents have experienced an average of two or more attacks in the last 12 months, 91 percent of respondents feel that they have their gout under control.

To view additional survey findings and the full multimedia news release, please visit

"This study reveals a startling disconnect between the degree of pain and discomfort patients experience and the reported success of their care or management plan," says Dr. Zorba Paster, clinical professor at the Department of Family Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Patients need to know that they don't have to 'just live with' a certain number of flares. Gout is the result of hyperuricemia, or high uric acid levels in the body, and it needs ongoing management with a combination of lifestyle modifications and medication."

Gout is a chronic metabolic condition and the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men. Women also can suffer from gout and are most often affected after menopause. Gout occurs when excess uric acid in the body begins to form crystals and deposit them in the joints, causing an inflammatory response. A gout attack, or "flare," can affect several different areas, including elbows, knees and wrists; however, patients most commonly experience attacks in the big toe.

"June is Men's Health Month, and during this time Men's Health Network encourages heightened awareness of a variety of health conditions, including gout," says Scott Williams, vice president, MHN. "Our focus is to raise awareness of the need for men to be proactive in taking care of their health, and clearly, gout is a good example. With proper management, patients can reduce the risk of experiencing painful attacks, so we urge men -- and women -- who live with gout to work with their doctor, ask questions and develop the management plan that is best for them."  

Additional Findings

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 51 percent of survey respondents rate their gout as "very severe or severe."
  • Half of surveyed gout patients report "unbearable pain" during a flare.
  • More than a quarter of gout patients report being bedridden and taking time off of work during an attack, and 73 percent admit to limited physical activity during these times. Nearly half of those surveyed (43 percent) have had to cancel social plans and one-fifth have canceled vacation plans or decided not to travel as a result of their condition.
  • Unaided, only half of gout sufferers correctly attribute their condition to an increased level or accumulation of uric acid.
  • Patients report a mixture of emotions resulting from the pain of an attack, including stress (64 percent), anger (47 percent), depression (40 percent), embarrassment (16 percent) and feeling overwhelmed (38 percent).
  • Men are more likely to claim that they would participate in more sports and exercise (41 percent men vs. 33 percent women) if they did not have gout.
  • When asked about gout flares, men were more likely than women to respond with anger and to feel that they brought the attacks upon themselves.

About the Survey

The 2010 Gout Attitudes Patient Survey was developed by Men's Health Network and Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc., and conducted by Braun Research, Inc. All surveys were conducted in the United States between March 13, 2010, and April 10, 2010, via telephone among a nationally representative sample of gout patients, with 32 percent reporting at least two gout attacks in the last 12 months. Results of a survey of this size will be projectable to the larger population with a confidence interval of 95 percent. The margin of error for the findings is +/-3.1 percentage points.

About Braun Research, Inc. (BRI)

BRI is a well-respected and internationally recognized firm that employs techniques and standards approved by leading survey research academic organizations in the world. BRI is an active member in a number of respected organizations throughout the industry, including The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), Council on Marketing and Opinion Research (CMOR) and Council on American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO).

About Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

Based in Deerfield, Ill., Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. and Takeda Global Research & Development Center, Inc. are subsidiaries of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, the largest pharmaceutical company in Japan. The respective companies currently market oral diabetes, insomnia, rheumatology and gastroenterology treatments and seek to bring innovative products to patients through a pipeline that includes compounds in development for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, gastroenterology, neurology and other conditions. Takeda is committed to striving toward better health for individuals and progress in medicine by developing superior pharmaceutical products. To learn more about these Takeda companies, visit

About Men's Health Network (MHN)

MHN is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health prevention messages and tools, screening programs, educational materials, advocacy opportunities and patient navigation. With a network of chapters, affiliates, and health partners, MHN has a presence in every U.S. state and more than 30 countries. We strive to achieve the following goals:

  • To save men's lives by reducing the premature mortality of men and boys.
  • To improve the physical and mental health of men so that they can live fuller and happier lives.
  • Work with/through women as the family's health care leader to reach men with critical health messages.

For more information and to view complete survey results, please visit

SOURCE Men's Health Network; Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.