28 Dec 2012

Gout affects more older Maori and Pacific men

6:14 am on 28 December 2012

A new study suggests a third of older Maori and Pacific men have a particularly debilitating and painful form of arthritis that up to half of them are undertreating or not treating at all.

The condition, gout, is caused by crystals forming in the joints when uric acid levels build up in the blood.

An Auckland University study suggests it afflicts about 4% of the adult population.

However 30% of Maori and Pacific men over the age of 65 have the condition.

Study leader Associate Professor Nicola Dalbeth says up to half of gout sufferers do not treat the condition properly.

She says that is partly to do with men avoiding the doctor but some sufferers also do not see the point of daily treatment for pain that comes and goes.

Associate Professor Dalbeth says daily attention can prevent flare-ups, damage to joints and having to take time off work.