Objectives: New Caledonia is a Pacific island of 270,000 inhabitants with mixed ethnicities, including Polynesians (10.2%), people from European ancestry (27.2%), and Melanesians (39.1%),. This study aimed at determining the prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in the general population and the various ethnicities of New Caledonia.
Methods: A 3-degree random sample of the population aged 18 to 60 years was adjusted according to the 2014 New Caledonia census. Face-to-face planned interviews and physical measurements were performed by trained nurses. All consenting participants underwent capillary measurement of creatinine; all consenting men and only women older than 40 years underwent point-of-care uricemia testing. Gout was defined by a validated algorithm. Two definitions of hyperuricemia were used: capillary level equivalent to plasma uric acid level > 360 mol/l (6 mg/dl) and > 420 mol/l (7 mg/dl) and/or urate-lowering drug treatment for both thresholds.
Results: We included 1144 participants (adjusted mean age 37.712.0 years; adjusted sex ratio 50.4% men). The adjusted prevalence of gout was 3.3% (95% confidence interval 2.2-4.9). Prevalence was 6.7% (2.5-16.8), 4.1% (1.8-8.9), and 2.6% (1.4-4.7) for Polynesians, Europeans and Melanesians, respectively, and 1.9% (0.5-6.6) for other ethnicities. Prevalence of hyperuricemia, determined in 658 participants, was 67.0% (61.9-71.6) and 37.0% (32.3-42.0) for the 360- and 420-mol/l thresholds, respectively, and was significantly greater for Polynesians and Melanesians than Europeans for both thresholds.
Conclusions: The prevalence of gout and hyperuricemia in New Caledonia was high, including in patients of European descent.
Keywords: Melanesians; New Caledonia; Polynesians; epidemiology; gout; hyperuricemia.