The head of Arthritis New Zealand says the key to treating gout is to nip it in the bud.
A hui in Auckland yesterday focused on gout among Maori, which is about four times more prevalent than in non-Maori.
Arthritis New Zealand's chief executive, Sandra Kirby, says if Maori were routinely tested for gout at medical centres or marae clinics, early action could be taken against the disease.
The hui was told that Maori and Pacifika people have a genetic tendency to high uric acid levels, which can be reduced with medication.
Ms Kirby said gout is much easier to manage if it is caught early than if people wait until they have joint damage.