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The summer of gout

Issue 28 Synovium (Autumn 2009)

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In a study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases1 surveillance data gathered by the Royal College of General Practitioners Research and Surveillance Centre in Birmingham was used to plot the incidence and prevalence of gout between 1994 and 2007. The incidence of new gout remained stable during the 14-year period; recurrent gout attacks, however, decreased by 4% per annum, suggesting positive effects of treatment. Interestingly the prevalence of both new and recurrent episodes peaked during the summer months April to September. Why might that be?

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