Inflammatory bowel disease in older adults. Does age influence the diagnosis?

by Sarita Shrestha

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) consists of a group of disorders that involves lifelong inflammation in the digestive tract (mouth to anus). The main types of IBD include Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis that normally develop in young adulthood. Recent evidence indicates that the number of older adults, above the age of 60 years, diagnosed with IBD is increasing.

However, the underlying explanation for this observation is unknown. Most evidence on the disease diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and management is based on the studies from the younger adults. This leads to misdiagnosis and treatment delays for many older patients with IBD. The overall aim of the project is to explore whether the age influences the immune mediated manifestation of IBD.

Study-I of my thesis aim to determine whether the information on International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes registered in the Swedish national patient register (NPR) can be used to predict subgroups of IBD such as those affected by the disease later in life.

Prevalence of multiple life-long illnesses and extraintestinal manifestations when IBD affects other organs such as the skin and eyes has not yet been explored. Thus, the total number of people with the existing diseases in relation to genetic makeup, shared environmental factors and inflammation will be explored in studyII-IV of my thesis. We will make use of secondary data from the national patient registers in Sweden and Denmark. By conducting these studies, we attempt to facilitate the accurate diagnosis and identify risk factors related to the disease. It will help to promote health and develop policies for prevention of IBD in older adults.



Successful ageing, what is it?

 Welcome to the Successful Ageing blog

Örebro University’s strategic initiative on Successful Ageing currently consists of two graduate research schools focusing on interdisciplinary research. The PhD students spend four years on their own research while being part of the strategic initiative.

At the research school on Successful Ageing, research is being carried out on ageing and the opportunities offered by successful ageing. We are developing theories on successful ageing and relating them to a contemporary Nordic perspective. The graduate school is international with 18 doctoral students from several different countries.

The Newbreed PhD programme is partly financed by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions, Co-funding of Regional, National and International Programmes (MSCA COFUND). During 2018, 16 international doctoral students were recruited from 14 different countries, each working on a project of their own choice within four thematic areas.