Once described as the disease of kings, gout has developed a much greater incidence and prevalence. The incidence of gout is on the rise predominantly in the elderly. There appears to be a greater risk of developing gout with hyperuricemia, hypertension, and renal disease. High fructose drinks, red meat, organ meats, fatty seafood, and beer or liquor also appear to increase the risk of developing gout. Gout can lead to inflammation and damage to cartilage, bone, bursa, tendons, heart, or kidneys. Patients with gout will have many years of asymptomatic hyperuricemia followed by episodes of acute gouty inflammation and asymptomatic periods. Some people with gout will progress to chronic gout with tophi deposits, pain, deformity, and bone and cartilage destruction.
Michael E. Zychowicz, DNP, ANP-C, ONP-C, FAANP, Associate Professor & Chair, Master of Science in Nursing Program, Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, NC.
The author has disclosed that he has no financial interests to any commercial company related to this educational activity.