The aim of this retrospective study was to characterise the clinical presentation and disease associations of Oriental patients with gout seen in our hospital over a six-month period. One hundred patients comprising of 77 males and 23 females (89% Chinese, 7% Malays, 2% Indians and 2% others; mean age was 50.9 years (range 18 to 82 years), mean age at onset of disease was 43.7years (range 16 to 78 years)] were studied. The disease was familial in 18% and 44% of patients had a history of alcohol ingestion.Co-morbid conditions included hypertension (36%), hyperlipidaemia (25%), renal failure (17%), ischaemic heart disease (13 %), diabetes mellitus (4%), systemic lupus erythematosus (3%), psoriasis (2%) and ankylosing spondylitis (1%). The majority of patients (68%) had at least one associated disease. At the onset of disease, the joints commonly involved were the ankles (39%) and knees (27%) whilst the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint was affected in only 26% of cases. Polyarticular onset was uncommon (n = 6). The precipitating factors reported by the patients included food (n = 23), alcohol (n = 12), drugs (n = 4), trauma (n = 3) and surgery (n = 2). Eleven patients had a history of renal calculi and 15% had tophaceous gout. Majority of patients (71%) had been treated with urate-lowering drugs (allopurinol). We concluded that gout in Singapore predominantly affects middle-aged men who often have an accompanying illness.
Gout is a common metabolic disease that causes arthritis which is often painful and sometimes disabling. It results from the deposition of monosodium urate monohydrate crystals in the joints and soft tissue giving rise to an acute inflammatory response.
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