Epidemiology of inpatient gout in Australia and New Zealand: temporal trends, comorbidities and gout flare site

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Abstract

Aim

To assess the epidemiology of inpatient gout in Australia and New Zealand during the years 2009–2014.

Methods

Using the Health Roundtable Limited (HRT) dataset, all patients with a coded ICD10 primary or secondary discharge diagnosis of gout from a HRT participating Australian or New Zealand hospital between the years 2009 and 2014 were identified. The number of inpatient gout admissions, length of stay, body site of gout flare, temporal trends and comorbidities were assessed.

Results

During 2009–2014, the number of gout admissions increased significantly in Australia and New Zealand. The rate of inpatient gout admissions relative to the population and total HRT admissions rose in Australia and stayed static in New Zealand. Lower limb presentations were the commonest anatomical site of gout in admitted patients. Length of stay over the course of the study decreased both in patients admitted for gout and in those in the entire HRT dataset. Patients admitted for gout have longer length of stay compared to patients admitted for other reasons. Cardiovascular disease, infection and stroke were the commonest conditions that were complicated by an episode of inpatient gout. There was no influence of month or season on the pattern of gout admissions.

Conclusion

The number of gout admissions rose in Australia numerically and as a proportion of the total population and total admissions. Gout is an increasing problem affecting individuals and the community as a whole in Australia.

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