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According to the National Arthritis Data Workgroup, an estimated 6 million people in the United States report having experienced gout at some point in their lives. In fact, gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis in men over the age of 40.
So, we know that it's a form of arthritis, but there's a lot more to it. Gout is a painful form of arthritis that is caused by high uric acid levels in your blood (hyperuricemia). Gout attacks occur when excess uric acid forms crystals, causing inflammation in your joints that leads to swelling and pain. As your uric acid level rises, so does the potential for gout and gout flares. Over time, gout attacks can become more severe, last longer, and occur more often. Decreasing your uric acid to the recommended level (less than 6 mg/dL) can reduce the risk of gout attacks over the long term.