In an endeavor to analyse the clinical characteristics of female gout, we reviewed 36 women with gout. Twenty-seven (75%) developed the first symptomatic episode of gout after the onset of the menopause. The mean age at onset of gout was 54.3 years (range 15-87 years). Twenty-two patients (61%) had hypertension, 17 (47%) had renal insufficiency, 13 (36%) used diuretics and 10 (28%) were taking cyclosporine for a renal allograft. Tophaceous gout occurred in 10 patients (27%) and polyarticular involvement was seen in 16 (44%) at initial presentation. Five of nine premenopausal patients were taking cyclosporine and four had renal insufficiency. A comparison with a control group of 72 randomly selected male patients with gout showed that the female patients were frequently receiving diuretics at the time of the attack and had significantly lower mean uric acid excretion, whereas significantly more male patients showed heavy alcohol consumption and precipitating events for an acute attack compared with the female patients. There were no significant differences between the sexes for onset age, hypertension, renal insufficiency, distribution of joint involvement, tophi and mean serum uric acid concentration. The female patients in this study had a lower mean age at onset of gout than in previous studies, which was attributed to the inclusion of renal transplantation patients. Transplantation gout patients receiving cyclosporine lower the mean age at onset of female gout and this is an emerging problem in female gout.
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