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National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, National Institutes of Health


is one of the most painful rheumatic diseases. It results from deposits
of needle-like crystals of uric acid in connective tissue, in the joint
space between two bones, or in both. These deposits lead to
inflammatory arthritis, which causes swelling, redness, heat, pain, and
stiffness in the joints. The term arthritis refers to more than 100
different rheumatic diseases that affect the joints, muscles, and
bones, as well as other tissues and structures. Gout accounts for
approximately 5 percent of all cases of arthritis. 

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