Gout Duration Starts With Uric Acid is the starting point for people concerned about how long gout lasts. Because many people ask about gout duration. So, I want to cover the whole process from start to finish. To that end, this is my layman’s review of uric acid and gout duration.

Gout Duration Starts With Uric Acid Audience

I wrote Gout Duration Starts With Uric Acid for people who want to understand the entire process of how long gout lasts. Because the answer to that depends on many factors. So, this looks towards the start of the gout process. But, I must emphasize that the course and duration of gout are different for every gout sufferer. Therefore, you must always look at how principles might apply to you.

Gout Duration Starts With Uric Acid Report

This is my layman’s review of a study to identify risk factors associated with frequent gout attacks[1].


This study investigates why less than 40% of gout patients who seek treatment for their first gout attack do not appear to develop full-blown gout. Specifically, it tries to find factors that will identify gout sufferers who will benefit from early uric acid lowering intervention.


Scientists collected data from 468 gout patients who were not taking uric acid lowering treatment. Then they analyzed one year, dividing subjects into two groups. Firstly, a group with more than 2 gout attacks in that year. Secondly, a group with 2 or fewer attacks. Then they performed a range of statistical analyses to compare:

  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • BMI.
  • Time since first diagnosis.
  • Presence of tophi.
  • Uric acid level.
  • Heart disease score.


A quarter of gout sufferers only had one attack in the year of study. Then, in the group with more than one attack, only two factors had significant links.

Firstly, the number of years you have had gout is likely to affect your chances of repeating gout attacks. So, your risk rises by half after 5 years. Then it doubles after 13 years.

Secondly, your uric acid level can also predict your chance of frequent attacks. So, compared to 8 mg/dL (480 μmol/L) your risks increase as follows:

  1. Over 8 – one third higher.
  2. Over 9 – double.
  3. Over 10 – over three times more.


In conclusion, the authors accept there are several weaknesses in the study. For example, they note that the lack of links between frequent gout and BMI, gender, and tophi may be more to do with the design of the study. So, there could be other links to frequent gout attacks, besides the two found. Especially, they suggest further research into dietary and genetic associations that were not part of this investigation. However, the study did show a frequent gout link to disease duration and high uric acid levels. Therefore, it recommends that gout sufferers in those high-risk groups should start uric acid lowering treatment as soon as possible.

The association of greater disease duration and frequent gout attacks reported in this study suggests that patients with gout who are eligible to receive ULT as per the national guidelines should be informed that they are likely to develop more frequent acute attacks of gout if their disease is left untreated.

[ULT = Uric acid Lowering Treatment]

Time And Tide Wait For No Gout
Time And Tide Wait For No Gout

Gout Duration Starts With Uric Acid GoutPal Summary

It seems logical to acknowledge that your risk of frequent gout attacks rise when many years have passed and the tide of your uric acid is high. So, you might have been lucky if you’ve only had one gout attack.

From this report, it’s clear that early uric acid treatment can prevent frequent gout attacks. But, we might also consider why some gout sufferers only get one gout attack.

Unfortunately, that is not part of this study. But, we know from anecdotal evidence in the gout forums that the first gout attack is often a wake-up call. So, people often improve their lifestyle or look at replacing medications for other illnesses that might raise uric acid. Of course, that will not help where gout is genetic. But significant numbers of gout sufferers might avoid years of pain if Secondary Gout is acted on sooner.

Your Gout Duration Start

Your next step depends on your unique situation. In particular, consider your number of gout attacks in the last 12 months, years since your first attack, and your current uric acid level.

Firstly, seek uric acid lowering treatment immediately if any of these are true:

  • More than one gout attack in 12 months.
  • 1 gout attack and 5 or more years since first attack.
  • 1 gout attack and uric acid test results above 480 μmol/L.

But even if you are not at immediate risk of many gout attacks, you should be careful. So, make sure you maintain a healthy diet. Also, ask your doctor if any medications you take for other diseases might increase uric acid. Finally, arrange with your doctor for future uric acid tests, at least once each year.

As well as discussing these aspects of your gout with your doctor, you can also get advice from fellow gout sufferers.

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Gout Duration Starts With Uric Acid References

  1. Abhishek, Abhishek, Ana M. Valdes, Weiya Zhang, and Michael Doherty. “Association of Serum Uric Acid and Disease Duration With Frequent Gout Attacks: A Case–Control Study.” Arthritis care & research 68, no. 10 (2016): 1573-1577. Gout Duration Attack Frequency PDF.

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