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World J Gastroenterol. Jun 14, 2011; 17(22): 2734-2739
Published online Jun 14, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i22.2734
Old-age inflammatory bowel disease onset: A different problem?
Joaquin Hinojosa del Val
Joaquin Hinojosa del Val, Gastroeneterology Service, Hospital de Manises, Valencia 46940, Spain
Author contributions: Hinojosa del Val J contributed solely to this review.
Correspondence to: Joaquin Hinojosa del Val, MD, PhD, Gastroeneterology Service, Hospital de Manises, Valencia 46940, Spain.
Telephone: +34-96-1845000 Fax: +34-96-1245746
Received: August 12, 2010
Revised: May 4, 2011
Accepted: May 11, 2011
Published online: June 14, 2011

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients aged > 60 accounts for 10%-15% of cases of the disease. Diganostic methods are the same as for other age groups. Care has to be taken to distinguish an IBD colitis from other forms of colitis that can mimick clinically, endoscopically and even histologically the IBD entity. The clinical pattern in ulcerative colitis (UC) is proctitis and left-sided UC, while granulomatous colitis with an inflammatory pattern is more common in Crohn’s disease (CD). The treatment options are those used in younger patients, but a series of considerations related to potential pharmacological interactions and side effects of the drugs must be taken into account. The safety profile of conventional immunomodulators and biological therapy is acceptable but more data are required on the safety of use of these drugs in the elderly population. Biological therapy has risen question on the possibility of increased side effects, however this needs to be confirmed. Adherence to performing all the test prior to biologic treatment administration is very important. The overall response to treatment is similar in the different patient age groups but elderly patients have fewer recurrences. The number of hospitalizations in patients > 65 years is greater than in younger group, accounting for 25% of all admissions for IBD. Mortality is similar in UC and slightly higher in CD, but significantly increased in hospitalized patients. Failure of medical treatment continues to be the most common indication for surgery in patients aged > 60 years. Age is not considered a contraindication for performing restorative proctocolectomy with an ileal pouch-anal anastomosis. However, incontinence evaluation should be taken into account an individualized options should be considered

Keywords: Inflammatory bowel diseases, Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, Eldery population