Picture of Wimbledon Clinics

Wimbledon Clinics

Gout associated with worse lower extremity function

Contact us for an appointment

*At Wimbledon Clinics we comply with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (UK). We will never share your data without your permission and we will only use your data how you’ve asked us to. Please let us know if you’d like to join our mailing list to receive updates about our specialist consultants, the latest treatments for orthopaedic and sports injuries and prevention tips for common injuries.

For more information, click here to view our privacy policy

Gout is a type of arthritis that occurs when crystals of sodium urate form inside and around joints. The condition causes sudden and severe pain and swelling in the joint, and a recent study published in Arthritis Care & Research found that people with gout are more likely to have worse lower extremity function.

Researchers in the United States and Germany conducted a cross-sectional analysis involving 5,819 older adults in the ongoing, prospective Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study who had self-reported gout status, hyperuricemia data and physical function measurements.

These physical function measures included the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), a four-metre walking test and a grip strength assessment.

One in ten of the participants had reported a history of gout, and one in five had hyperuricemia.

Results of the physical function analysis showed that patients with gout performed worse than those without gout on the SPPB. They also had slower walking speeds.

However, there was no difference in grip strength by history of gout.

Similarly, patients with hyperuricemia had worse SPPB scores and walking speeds, but no difference in grip strength.

Although the researchers had expected that older adults with gout and hyperuricemia would have worse physical function, they were surprised to see that these associations were limited to lower extremity function, said principal investigator Dr. Mara McAdams-DeMarco, as quoted by Medscape.

“However, this makes sense, given that the most common localizations of affected joints are in the lower extremity. Patients with gout are most likely to be first affected by lower extremity joints,” she said.

The study suggests that before the onset of joint damage resulting from gout, people with the condition are at risk of poor physical function.

Healthcare providers can potentially counsel patients on the benefits of exercise to improve lower extremity physical function, Dr. McAdams-DeMarco concluded.