Inflammatory bowel disease in the elderly


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Abstract

The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease in patients aged 60 years and older is approximately 3.5/100,000 people/year for Crohn's disease and 4.5/100,000 people/year for ulcerative colitis. An increased frequency of comorbidities and an increased risk of other forms of colitis in elderly patients can make the diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease challenging. The clinical course of inflammatory bowel disease in the elderly is generally similar to that in younger patients, with primary differences noted in symptom frequency and disease location. The treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in the elderly is also generally the same as that for younger patients. Elderly patients are more likely to experience side-effects from corticosteroids and to have contraindications to immunosuppressive therapy. Surgical outcomes for inflammatory bowel disease in the elderly patient have improved over time. Outcomes and complications from surgery in the elderly population are similar to those of younger patients.

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