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Scand J Gastroenterol. 2018 Sep;53(9):1079-1084. doi: 10.1080/00365521.2018.1501603. Epub 2018 Sep 6.

Inflammatory bowel disease in patients over the age of 70 y. Does the disease duration influence its behavior?

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a Digestive Disease Department , General University Hospital of Valencia , Valencia , Spain.
b Gastroenterology Department and CIBEREHD , Hospital Universitari i Politecnic La Fe , Valencia , Spain.
c Inflammatory Bowel Disease Unit, Digestive Disease Department , University of Valencia, University Clinic Hospital of Valencia , Valencia , Spain.
d Inflammatory Bowel Disease Unit, Digestive Disease Department , Hospital of Manises , Manises , Spain.
e Digestive Disease Department , Arnau of Vilanova of Valencia Hospital , Spain Valencia.
f Digestive Disease Department , Hospital of Sagunto , Valencia , Spain.
g Statistics Unit, Hospital Universitari i Politècnic la Fe , Valencia , Spain.
h Digestive Disease Department , Peset University Hospital of Valencia , Valencia , Spain.



The fastest growing segment of our population is that of people above 70 years of age. Elderly patients with IBD exhibit several specific problems. Our objective was to evaluate the clinical course, the side effects of the treatments and the need for surgery of elderly patients, regardless of the age of onset.


This was a cross-sectional study wherein retrospective data were collected from multiple centers from seven hospitals within the Valencia metropolitan area. Data were collected on patients older than 70 y with inflammatory bowel disease.


We identified a total of 331 patients older than 70 years of age (5.3% of patients monitored at our centers). The mean age at the time of the study was 77.34 y (±5.39). Mesalamine were the most frequently used medications. Corticosteroids were used in 66% of the patients. However, the use of corticosteroids and biologics was less probable in older patients (OR 0.96, p = .06). The longer the disease progressed, the more immunosuppressive medications were used (OR 1.3, p = .052). Neoplasms appeared in 41 patients (13%). Of the 36 patients with tumors that appeared after the onset of the disease, 20 patients had not been treated with immunomodulators or biologics.


Mesalamine was the most frequently used medication. There is no increased risk of tumors regarding the medications used. The use of immunosuppressive medications is more prevalent with longer disease progression times, although with a high rate of adverse events.


Crohn’s disease; Elderly; ulcerative colitis

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