Duodenal ulcer in the elderly

Eitan Scapa, Moshe Horowitz, Mordechai Waron, Jerachmiel Eshchar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Of 333 duodenal ulcer (DU) patients 75 (22.5%) were aged 65–93 years (study group). Ninety-two percent (306 patients) of the entire group were diagnosed endoscopically, and all were followed prospectively. In the study group of the older patients there were fewer smokers, but more patients used steroids and other nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and had more arteriosclerotic heart disease than the younger control group. Presenting signs and symptoms were similar in both age groups, although painless upper gastrointestinal bleeding was more common in the elderly, and pain, when present, tended to be milder. Bleeding episodes were more prevalent in the older age group. Another difference between the groups was the larger incidence of concurrent gastric ulcer and DU observed endoscopically in the study population. Steroids and NSAIDs could be etiologically connected to bleeding in the older patients, as well as to their relative lack of pain. We conclude that DU in the elderly tended to present atypically and that pain was not the major symptom of activity. This places a different emphasis on diagnostic and therapeutic criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)502-506
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1989

Keywords

  • Clinical manifestations
  • Duodenal ulcer
  • Elderly

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