Study suggests 'disease of kings' gout is on the rise

The number of cases of gout, once known as "the disease of kings", are on the rise according new figures.

Far from being consigned to the history books, hospital admissions in England for the painful condition have risen by a fifth in the last five years, the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) has said.

Henry VIII was thought to have suffered from gout - once known as 'the disease of king'. Credit: Topham/Topham Picturepoint/Press Association Images

Gout is a type of arthritis where crystals of sodium urate form around the joints. The most common symptoms are a sudden and severe pain in the joint along with swelling and redness.

Seven in 10 patients admitted primarily for gout were above the age of 60 and two thirds of those admitted were male. People living in the poorest areas are more likely to be affected, HSCIC said.