Inflammatory Bowel Disease and the Elderly: A Review

Taleban S1, Colombel JF2, Mohler MJ3, Fain MJ3. J Crohns Colitis. 2015 Apr 13. pii: jjv059. [Epub ahead of print]
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1Department of Medicine, University of Arisona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA staleban@yahoo.com. 2Department of Medicine, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, USA. 3Department of Medicine, University of Arisona College of Medicine, Tucson, AZ, USA Arisona Center on Aging, University of Arisona, Tucson, AZ, USA.


Inflammatory bowel disease among the elderly is common, with growing incident and prevalence rates. Compared with younger IBD patients, genetics contribute less to the pathogenesis of older-onset IBD, with dysbiosis and dysregulation of the immune system playing a more significant role. Diagnosis may be difficult in older individuals, as multiple other common diseases can mimic IBD in this population. The clinical manifestations in older-onset IBD are distinct, and patients tend to have less of a disease trajectory. Despite multiple effective medical and surgical treatment strategies for adults with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, efficacy studies typically have excluded older subjects. A rapidly ageing population and increasing rates of Crohn's and ulcerative colitis make the paucity of data in older adults with IBD an increasingly important clinical issue.

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