The prevalence of gout and hyperuricaemia in Australia: An updated systematic review

K. Pathmanathan, Philip C. Robinson, C. L. Hill, H. I. Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Gout continues to increase in prevalence in developed countries with Oceanic countries particularly affected. Both gout and hyperuricaemia are associated with the metabolic syndrome and its sequelae. Recently, the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) reported a prevalence rate of 0.8% which appeared incongruous with other published research. Thus, an updated systematic review was undertaken to review the literature on the prevalence of gout and hyperuricaemia in Australia from data published after 2011. Methods: A comprehensive, systematic search was conducted in MEDLINE, Embase and Web of Science in addition to relevant websites to identify research reporting the prevalence of gout and/or hyperuricaemia in Australia from May 2011 until June 2020. Crude gout and hyperuricaemia prevalence data was obtained and presented alongside case ascertainment, time-period, age range and stratified by gender if available. Results: 118 full text articles were screened. 12 articles were included for analysis of gout prevalence. 4 articles were identified for the hyperuricaemia analysis. Wide variation in prevalence figures exist largely due study design and sample age range. Studies using a case definition of self-reported diagnosis of gout reported prevalence rates between 4.5% and 6.8%. The remaining studies used either electronic coding data from general practitioners or wastewater estimation of allopurinol consumption and documented adult prevalence rates between 1.5% and 2.9%. Prevalence increases with age, male sex and over time in keeping with global data. Hyperuricaemia prevalence ranged between 10.5% and 16.6% in Caucasian or an Australian representative population. AIHW estimates applied a chronic condition status, defined as current and lasted or expected to last more than six months, to cases of gout in the Australian National Health Survey. This likely results in an under-estimation in reported Australian gout prevalence rates. Conclusions: Gout is highly prevalent in Australia compared to global comparisons and continues to increase over time. Hyperuricaemia prevalence is also high although contemporary data is limited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-128
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021


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