About 10 percent of Americans with chronic kidney disease (CKD) also have gout, concludes a large-scale study based on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The study also found that most of these patients do not get treatment for their gout, which may lead to renal deterioration and CKD progression.
The study, “Prevalence of CKD and Uncontrolled Gout Among U.S. Adults: Results from NHANES 2007-2012,” appeared in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. Its findings were also presented at last week’s 2017 Spring Clinical Meetings of the National Kidney Foundation in Orlando, Florida.
Elevated levels of uric acid due to deteriorating renal function leads to poor CKD outcome. Likewise, accumulation of uric acid crystals in the joints is known to be the main cause of gout. Although never formally linked, previous reports have suggested that CKD and gout — along with elevated uric acid levels — may rely on common mechanisms.
In the present study the researchers estimated the prevalence of CKD and gout in the U.S. population, and evaluated the levels of blood uric acid and usage of gout medications Zyloprim (allopurinol) and Uloric (febuxostat) in patients with these conditions.
They found that about 14 percent of Americans have CKD, while 4 percent have gout. A more detailed analysis showed that about 10 percent have both diseases — which confirms a previous report showing that CKD patients are at higher risk of developing gout.
In addition, researchers found that 64 percent of CKD patients with gout were not being treated for the disease. This was further confirmed by evaluation of uric acid levels showing that 80 percent of such patients have uncontrolled gout — a number that drops to 42 percent among those taking either Zyloprim or Uloric.
“We believe these results underline the importance of evaluating the serum uric acid status of patients with chronic kidney disease and gout,” lead author Jean Jiyoung Lim of Tufts University School of Medicine said in a press release.