Gout is a form of arthritis, caused by a defect in the metabolism which results in a build up of uric acid. This particularly affects the smaller bones of the feet and especially the big toe. Some crystals can pack together to form hard and slowly expanding lumps which can eventually lead to irreversible joint damage. It is a disease that is more commonly self-diagnosed rather than clinically diagnosed; this is taken into account by the Epiomic™ database which sub-divides the patient population based on diagnosis, and therefore gives a complete picture of the market landscape.
Men are at a much higher risk of gout than women, mainly due to the hormone oestrogen which reduces a woman’s uric acid levels by causing the kidneys to excrete more. Other factors that can increase your risk of gout are obesity, age, high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia (high levels of fat in blood) and diabetes. A recent sharp rise in the number of patients with gout in the UK between the ages of 20 and 30 has been linked to increasing obesity in the population as it puts a large strain on the functioning of the kidneys causing levels of uric acid to rise.
The Epiomic™ database incorporates continuous variables applicable across the whole patient population, including BMI and systolic blood pressure, to give a deep insight into their influence on gout throughout a number of different countries. Additionally, the database sub-divides the patient population by a number of co-morbidities including history of kidney stones, coronary heart disease and diabetes, which provides crucial information in understanding the disease.