New Study Using Big Data Sheds Light on the Value of Specialist Care in the Treatment of Gout


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. and NEW YORK, March 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A recent article published in "ACR Open Rheumatology" found that rheumatologist care was associated with better disease management for patients with advanced gout verses care from general practitioners. In fact, many patients not seen by a rheumatologist were not being cared for according to accepted guidelines.

"Gout is a common disease, but still one that is poorly treated. It is challenging for patients because it is a largely treatable condition, in which poor outcomes can be avoided. Despite established treatment guidelines, these patients are often overlooked because they frequently have other conditions that become the focus of treatment. Moreover, gout patients are often stigmatized by life-style choices, such as diet indiscretion and alcohol consumption, and, as a result, can be left to manage their own condition," said Dr. N. Lawrence Edwards, Professor of Medicine, University of Florida.

Research supported by Horizon Therapeutics and conducted by the RILITE Research Institute, collaborating with AMPEL BioSolutions and HVH Precision Analytics analyzed large administrative data sets, including the Symphony Integrated Dataverse and the Truven Marketscan databases, showing the importance of big data analysis in healthcare research.

Gout affects more than 9.2 million people in the United States. Symptoms include sudden painful swelling of the joints caused by the formation of monosodium urate crystals and, over time, can progress into a destructive and crippling form of arthritis. While gout is historically associated with diet, it can also be attributed to genetics, certain medications and certain medical conditions, such as renal insufficiency.

The study analyzed data from real-world clinical experiences involving more than 250 million people to identify subjects with acute and advanced gout in the United States. It then evaluated the frequency of recommended testing (serum urate testing) and treatment (urate lowering therapies) in these different populations. The study also looked at whether the involvement of a specialist (rheumatologist) compared to other providers affected gout management trends.

Results from the study demonstrate a difference in the level of treatment and care by rheumatologists verses general practitioners, indicating a need for increased awareness, education and referrals to a rheumatologist to improve outcomes for gout patients. For example, measurement of serum urate and prescriptions for ULTs are not consistent in gout patients. Rheumatologist care increases the frequency of urate measurement and ULT prescriptions and may also improve outcomes for gout patients. Rheumatologist care resulted in a significant decrease in Emergency Department visits for acute gout flares, an objective measure of the benefit of specialist involvement in patient management. This study also highlights the importance of big data in the analysis of health outcomes and diseases. Only by analyzing the records of more than 1 million gout patients could a comprehensive picture of their care emerge.

"We are living in the age of big data, in which we can understand the value of being able to analyze enormous amounts of information to find new insights about patient care patterns and how to improve them," said Dr Naomi Schlesinger, Professor of Medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. The ability to assess information from more than 1 million gout patients has shown us how improvements in care can lead to the practical benefit of less visits to the Emergency Room. This is an indication of the power of big data to point the way to better health outcomes."


RILITE Research Institute
The RILITE Research Institute is a branch of the RILITE Foundation whose focus is on research into autoimmune and inflammatory diseases like Gout.

Media Contact: Kate Vega,, 434-326-8272.

AMPEL BioSolutions
AMPEL is a data science/biotechnology with CRO capabilities company founded in 2013. AMPEL Employs Predictive Analytics and Machine Learning to Identify the Unique Genomic Fingerprint of Each Patient: Matching Patients with the Best Drug.

HVH Precision Analytics
HVH Precision Analytics is a leading provider of advanced analytics and services using global real-world data to realize actionable insights. Drawing on a heritage of the most sophisticated military-grade artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, HVH partners with leading healthcare organizations to improve insights and business intelligence. HVH's owners are Havas Health & You (, the world's largest health and wellness network, and Perspecta (, which brings mission services, digital transformation and enterprise operations capabilities to U.S. government customers in defense, intelligence, civilian, health care and state and local markets through more than 14,000 engineers, analysts, investigators and architects. For more information, please visit

Media Contact: Ashley Yum,, 703-888-6193.

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