Gout Flare Burden, Diagnosis, and Management: Navigating Care in Older Patients with Comorbidity

Mukund Kumar, Natalie Manley, Ted R. Mikuls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Gout is the most common form of inflammatory arthritis, and its incidence is highest in middle-aged and older patients. Adding to the diagnostic complexity, up to 50% of patients aged > 65 years present atypically, with subacute oligo- or polyarticular flares. Comorbidity and polypharmacy, common in older populations, affect real-world treatment decisions in gout management, and no specific guidelines are available to address these issues in these at-risk groups. Despite the growing public health burden posed by gout, suboptimal management has led to increased morbidity and substantial healthcare utilization and cost burden, as reflected by an increased incidence of emergency department visits and hospitalizations in recent years. Colchicine, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or glucocorticoids (oral, intraarticular, or intramuscular) should be considered as first-line agents for gout flare management. Urate-lowering therapy, with the goal of lowering and maintaining serum urate concentrations at < 6 mg/dL (< 360 μmol/L), is recommended to achieve optimal outcomes, including regression of tophi, reduction (or elimination) of flares, and reductions in total urate burden. In this review, we summarize the current burden posed by gout and discuss best practices in its diagnosis and management, focusing on best practices in the context of gout flare in older patients with comorbid conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-557
Number of pages13
JournalDrugs and Aging
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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