Study Finds Gout Significantly Impacts Lives of Women and Their Loved Ones
BRIDGEWATER, N.J., May 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — An online survey conducted by Red Hot Mamas North America, Inc. found that women and their loved ones are significantly affected by very painful bouts of gout, which they consider to be chronic and severe. Respondents indicated that although the debilitating pain associated with the condition affects quality of life, many individuals are prescribed medications meant to control the condition which they are not taking. Red Hot Mamas®, the largest menopause education program in the U.S., aims to foster education among those impacted by gout on Gout Awareness Day, May 22.
Gout is a painful form of inflammatory arthritis caused by a high level of uric acid in the blood. Approximately eight million people in the U.S. are affected by the condition. For women, the risk of gout increases after menopause due to a drastic decrease in the production of estrogen, which may help the kidneys excrete uric acid. Gout flares occur when excess uric acid crystallizes around the joints, causing inflammation, swelling and pain. If left untreated, these uric acid crystal deposits, called tophi, can limit everyday movement and potentially lead to joint damage over time.
May 22 is national Gout Awareness Day and the Gout Awareness Survey is part of a broader Red Hot Mamas® initiative to educate midlife women about this health condition and to provide informational resources to help women and their loved ones cope with gout.
Facts From Red Hot Mamas® Gout Awareness Survey
- Of the 451 female respondents, 150 had experienced gout. Over half of these women (51.3 percent) had more than three flares in one year and 45.3 percent went to the emergency room due to pain caused by flares. Eighty-seven percent of these women said their gout was chronic and severe. Eighty percent of this group sought help from a healthcare professional and 76 percent were prescribed medication, yet only 40.7 percent were utilizing medication at time of survey. Seventy-five percent utilized non-prescription intervention and 65.3 percent made lifestyle changes. Gout interfered with various aspects of their lives due to pain, with most common responses including exercise, driving and family activities.
- Sixty-two percent of respondents said they had a family member or friend who had three or more gout flares in one year; 42.6 percent of those sufferers experienced tophi. Ninety percent of respondents were concerned about the long term consequences of gout, and 72 percent said the condition impacts family activities.
- Quality of life is negatively affected by gout. Limits the condition puts on everyday activity (e.g., walking up stairs, executing household chores) were most bothersome to survey participants; sleep disturbances and exhaustion from gout-related pain were also cited as diminishing quality of life.
“Both men and women’s lives are greatly impacted as a result of gout from pain, tophi, and non-compliance with medications,” says Verna Brooks-Mckenzie, MB, BS, FACOG, NCMP, Obstetrician and Gynecologist/Certified Menopause Practitioner. “Frequent visits to the emergency room add to the sky-rocketing costs of healthcare and the findings substantiate the fact that more education is needed for gout sufferers to better understand the cause and proper management of the disease with lifestyle modifications and prescribed medications.”
Karen Giblin, founder and president, Red Hot Mamas® has pledged to provide more educational resources about gout, stressing the importance of taking necessary lifestyle measures to prevent disease progression through eating a well-balanced diet, exercising on a regular basis, drinking alcohol in moderation – and proactive medical measures including adherence to prescribed gout therapy.
About The Survey
The survey was conducted online at www.redhotmamas.org by Red Hot Mamas North America, Inc. between the dates of April 4 and May 8, 2012. There were 585 people who initiated the survey, and 543 people who completed the survey (451 females and 92 males). Survey participants were in the following age ranges: 65+ (5.3 percent); 50-65 (72.6 percent); 40-49 (18 percent); <40 (4.1 percent).
Red Hot Mamas® seeks to educate women and their loved ones about gout and to help healthcare providers address gout health concerns with their patients. As part of this initiative, Red Hot Mamas® conducted an online survey targeted at women and their loved ones to explore the prevalence of gout, examine behaviors and perceptions about gout amongst study participants and to learn more about their experiences with gout.
The goal of this research was to broaden the understanding of this disease, to foster education outreach and to empower Red Hot Mamas affected by gout to communicate openly about gout in efforts to better manage its symptoms.
The Gout Awareness Survey was funded by Savient Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Savient was not involved in the design or analysis of its findings.
About Red Hot Mamas (RHM)
With more than 20 years of experience, Red Hot Mamas® is the largest menopause education program in US and Canada. Their educational and advocacy channels include monthly education programs hosted by hospitals and physician group practices in communities across the country. RHM is considered a leader in menopause education and support. Their programs have proudly been utilized by over 200 healthcare facilities. RHM has an award winning website: www.redhotmamas.org which is HON accredited. Their mission is to serve as a credible midlife health education resource to broaden women’s knowledge about menopause and empower them to become educated healthcare consumers and active participants in the management of their menopause.
Contact: Christina Ferrara
Red Hot Mamas North America, Inc.
SOURCE Red Hot Mamas