Optimal Management of Gout in Older Patients

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Gout in older patients tends to be sub-acute to chronic, often tophaceous, polyarticular, erosive, symmetrical, and causes persistent, recurrent and chronic arthritis. Clinically, it may closely mimic rheumatoid arthritis; thus, a correct diagnosis requires a high index of clinical suspicion and the identification of uric acid crystals.

An optimal therapeutic strategy for most older patients with chronic tophaceous gout could involve the following: avoidance of alcohol and diuretic use if possible; avoidance of long term nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy; use of short term corticosteroids (systemic or intra-articular) for acute exacerbations; prophylactic colchicine daily or every other day according to the degree of renal dysfunction present; and long term allopurinol therapy in dosages adjusted to the degree of hyperuricaemia and renal dysfunction.

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