Older Age- and Health-related Quality of Life in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

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Abstract

Background:

The burden of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the older population is increasing. Older-onset disease is associated with reduced use of immunosuppressive medications. In addition, older patients may be more vulnerable to the effect of disease-related symptoms and consequently may experience worse health-related quality of life (HRQoL) compared with younger patients.

Methods:

This prospective study included a cohort of patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis recruited from a single center. All patients completed the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (SIBDQ) and the short form-12 (SF-12) questionnaire yielding general physical health (PCS) and mental health component scale subscores (MCS). Patients older than 60 years were compared with those younger than 60 years using multivariable regression analysis.

Results:

Our study included 1607 patients, among whom 186 were older than 60 at the time of assessment. Older patients were more likely to have isolated colonic disease and less likely to use immunosuppressive therapy. On multivariable analysis, older patients with IBD had higher SIBDQ (2.34, 95% confidence interval, 0.82–3.87) and SF-12 mental subscores (3.78, 95% confidence interval, 2.26–5.30), but lower physical HRQoL (−1.80, 95% confidence interval, −3.21 to −0.38). There was no difference in the SIBDQ and PCS scores between older patients and newly diagnosed IBD or with established disease.

Conclusions:

Older age was associated with modestly higher SIBDQ and mental HRQoL scores, but lower physical HRQoL. Comprehensive care of the older patient with IBD should include assessment of factors impairing physical quality of life to ensure appropriate interventions.

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