In the journals
The prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in older adults has steadily risen over the past two decades, according to findings published May 14, 2021, in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
IBD is a collective term for diseases in which abnormal immune system activity in the intestine leads to inflammation. The two primary forms of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The report examined annual medical data on more than 23 million people ages 67 and older from 2001 to 2018. During this period, the number of cases of Crohn’s disease increased annually by 3.4%, while ulcerative colitis rose by 2.8%.
While all racial and ethnic groups were affected, the most significant annual percentage increase was among non-Hispanic Black individuals. The report also noted that while IBD generally peaks in young adulthood, 10% to 15% of new diagnoses are in people ages 60 and older.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are similar and include cramps, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and bloating. People may mistake these as regular digestive issues, but if you experience any of these problems and they don’t improve within a week, contact your doctor.
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