Introduction: The aim of this study was to examine the impact of gout on quality of life (QOL) and study differences by gender and race.Methods: Ten race- and sex-stratified nominal groups were conducted, oversampling for African-Americans and women with gout. Patients presented, discussed, combined and rank-ordered their concerns.Results: A total of 62 patients with mean age 65.1 years, 60% men, 64% African-American, participated in 10 nominal groups: African-American men (n = 23; 3 groups); African-American women (n = 18; 3 groups); Caucasian men (n = 15; 3 groups); and Caucasian women (n = 6; 1 group). The most frequently cited high-ranked concerns among the ten nominal groups were: (1) effect of gout flare on daily activities (n = 10 groups); (2) work disability (n = 8 groups); (3) severe pain (n = 8 groups); (4) joint swelling and tenderness (n = 6 groups); (5) food restrictions (n = 6 groups); (6) medication related issues (n = 6 groups); (7) dependency on family and others (n = 5 groups); (8) emotional Impact (n = 5 groups); (9) interference with sexual function (n = 4 groups); (10) difficulty with shoes (n = 4 groups); and (11) sleep disruption (n = 4 groups). Compared with men, women ranked the following concerns high more often: problems with shoes (n = 4 versus n = 0 groups); dependency (n = 3 versus n = 2 groups); and joint/limb deformity (n = 2 versus n = 0 group). Compared with Caucasians, African-Americans ranked the following concerns high more often: dietary restrictions (n = 6 versus n = 0 groups); severe pain (n = 6 versus n = 2 groups); gout bringing the day to a " halt" (n = 2 versus n = 0 group); effect on emotional health (n = 4 versus n = 1 groups); and the need for canes/crutches during flares (n = 2 versus n = 0 group).Conclusions: Gout has a significant impact on a patient's QOL. Important differences in the impact of gout by gender and race were noted. © 2014 Singh; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.