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April 1986

Crohn's Disease in the Elderly: A Statistical Comparison With Younger Patients Matched for Sex and Duration of Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine (Drs Harper and Beeken) and Medical Biostatistics (Dr McAuliffe), University of Vermont, Burlington.

Arch Intern Med. 1986;146(4):753-755. doi:10.1001/archinte.1986.00360160189025

• To better characterize Crohn's disease in the elderly, 24 patients ranging in age from 64 to 85 years were reviewed and compared with a younger group (20 to 61 years of age) matched for sex and duration of disease. Forty-one variables encompassing clinical, laboratory, and radiologic data and medical and surgical aspects of treatment were analyzed. The older group was characterized by a longer delay in diagnosis, more hematochezia, and a higher incidence of diverticular and cardiovascular disease. Elderly patients had less pain, less often a palpable abdominal mass, less small-bowel disease, less drug treatment, and no family history of inflammatory bowel disease. Otherwise, the disease in the two groups had similar manifestations, and no discriminating features to enable easy diagnosis in the elderly were found. Crohn's disease must be considered when evaluating older patients with diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and bleeding.

(Arch Intern Med 1986;146:753-755)

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