The incidence of gout and years lived with disability (YLD) increased substantially among younger individuals aged between 15 and 39 years, according to study findings published in RMD Open.

The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2017 study reported that gout burden increased globally. However, many previous studies have focused on the prevalence of gout among older populations.

The current analysis included updated data from the GBD 2019 to understand the trends of gout incidence and prevalence among younger individuals.

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The global burden of 369 diseases and injuries and 84 risk factors were evaluated using data collected in 21 regions and 204 countries and territories between 1990 and 2019.

Among individuals aged 15 to 39 years, the incidence of gout increased from 38.71 per 100,000 persons in 1990 to 45.94 per 100,000 persons in 2019; an average annual percentage change (AAPC) of 0.61. The prevalence of gout increased by an AAPC of 0.7 during the same period.

In the young population, the YLD increased from 4.89 per 100,000 individuals in 1990 to 5.91 per 100,000 individuals in 2019 (AAPC, 0.66).

In 2019, 1.36 million gout incident cases, 5.21 million prevalent cases, and 0.18 million YLD were reported among individuals aged 15 to 39 years. These rates account for 14.78% of the gout incident cases, 9.68% of the gout prevalent cases, and 10.48% of the YLD globally among all ages.

Stratified by sex, both men and boys (AAPC, 0.68) and women and girls (AAPC, 0.51) aged 15 to 39 years had increasing rates of gout incidence between 1990 and 2019. Trends were similar for gout prevalence (AAPC, men: 0.69; women: 0.54) and YLD (AAPC, men: 0.69; women: 0.54).

Stratified by age, the largest increase in gout incidence occurred among individuals aged 35 to 39 years (AAPC, 0.47), followed by 30 to 34 years (AAPC, 0.40), 25 to 29 years (AAPC, 0.33), 20 to 24 years (AAPC, 0.29), and 15 to 19 years (AAPC, 0.17).

The increase in gout incidence among younger individuals increased in high sociodemographic index (SDI) quintile areas (AAPC, 1.28), followed by high-middle SDI quintile (AAPC, 1.1), middle SDI quintile (AAPC, 0.71), low-middle SDI quintile (AAPC, 0.39), and low SDI quintile (AAPC, 0.25).

Stratified by region, the greatest increase in gout incidence between 1990 and 2019 occurred in high-income North America (AAPC, 1.64). Stratified by country, the country with the greatest increase was the Maldives (AAPC, 2.42).

The greatest risk factors associated with YLD were body mass index (BMI) and kidney dysfunction, accounting for 29.59% and 1.45% of the risk, respectively.

These trends led the study authors to conclude, “Rapidly and substantially growing rates of gout in the young population are a public health issue globally in both developed and developing regions and countries. Improving representative national-level data on gout in younger populations, interventions for obesity, and increasing awareness about gout early detection and treatment in the young population are strongly suggested.”


Zhang J, Jin C, Ma B, et al. Global, regional and national burdens of gout in the young population from 1990 to 2019: a population-based Study. RMD Open. 2023;9(2):e003025. doi:10.1136/rmdopen-2023-003025

This article originally appeared on Rheumatology Advisor