© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Gout arthritis too common in Māori population

Jasmine Ng

About 45,000 or 13.4 percent of Māori men have gout arthritis, a condition caused by a build-up of uric acid in the blood, causing exhausting pain.

Gout arthritis is New Zealand's second most common form of arthritis and is far more common in Māori  men than women.

Arthritis New Zealand chief executive Philip Kearney said the key to reducing the number of people suffering from the illness was a managed gout programme.

He said Arthritis New Zealand hoped to increase the percentage of people on the managed programme from 45 percent of sufferers to 90 percent over the next 20 years. This could save $1 billion, Kearney said.

"Arthritis New Zealand wants to actively develop a model of service delivery with Māori that works for Māori and addresses the need for effective community education and engagement to promote good management of gout arthritis," he said.

You can reduce the risk of a gout attack by following a low purine diet, reducing excess weight, eating dairy low in fat, and drinking enough water.