Did You Know...?
Gout occurs in about 1% of men and 0.3 - 0.6% of women, and the incidence
increases with age, being rare in adults under 30 years of age. The underlying
pathology of gout is crystal deposition into the joint space as a result of
elevated levels of uric acid in the blood stream (hyperuricaemia). Primary
gout due to an inborn error of metabolism accounts for about 90% of cases
of the disease, and approximately 10% of cases are due to secondary gout.
The enzyme defect responsible for hyperuricaemia is unknown.
Uric acid is a by-product of the breakdown of purines, a component of
many foods we eat. Certain foods that are high in purines can increase uric
acid levels and bring on an acute attack of gout. These foods include red
meats, shell fish, beer, red wine and salt. Some medications, such as diuretics
that are often used to control high blood pressure or reduce swelling, may also cause an acute attack of gout. Other possible causes are stress, infection or trauma, therefore it is good practice to avoid any of the above if there is a chance of a gout attack.