Gout Overview
More than 8 million Americans suffer from gout, and incidence of the disease has increased by about half in the last 20 years. Explore our gou...

Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

What is Gout?

Gout is a type of arthritis caused by too much uric acid in the blood. When the concentration of uric acid gets too high, sharp urate crystals form. These crystals collect in the joints and cause swelling and intense pain. Gout attacks often come on suddenly and without warning and typically last 12 to 24 hours. The big toe is the most common joint affected, but gout attacks can also affect the ankles, knees, hands, and wrists. If left untreated, gout attacks occur with more frequency and can eventually cause permanent deformations and damage to joints.

More than eight million Americans suffer from gout, and incidence of the disease has increased by about half in the past 20 years. It is most common among men over 40, though it is also prevalent in women after menopause. Because gout is associated with the excessive consumption of rich foods, it was previously known as "the disease of kings."

Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Edited by:
Medically Reviewed by: Jennifer Monti, MD, MPH
Published: Jan 1, 2011
Last Updated: Apr 21, 2014
Published By: Healthline Networks, Inc.
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools

What is a reference number?

When you register on this site, you are assigned a reference number. This number contains your profile information and helps UnitedHealthcare identify you when you come back to the site.

If you searched for a plan on this site in a previous session, you might already have a reference number. This number will contain any information you saved about plans and prescription drugs. To use that reference number, click on the "Change or view saved information" link below.

You can retrieve information from previous visits to this site, such as saved drug lists and Plan Selector information.