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Ageing and the gut


The current concepts on diagnosis, clinical features, and management of common gastrointestinal conditions in the elderly population, taking into account physiological aspects of ageing, are evaluated. Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders are discussed with an emphasis on oesophageal problems, Helicobacter pylori infection, malabsorption, diverticular disease, and cancer. GI problems are acquiring greater importance in hospitals and in the community and their incidence is increasing. Newer treatments have less impact on patients’ wellbeing and meticulously planned investigation and treatment is needed. Careful selection of patients and application of modern techniques has improved survival and outcomes, with comparable results to those in younger age groups.

  • CRC, colorectal cancer
  • CT, computed tomography
  • GI, gastrointestinal
  • GORD, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
  • IBS, irritable bowel syndrome
  • LOS, lower oesophageal sphincter
  • NOMI, non-occlusive mesenteric ischaemia
  • NSAIDs, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • PPIs, proton pump inhibitors
  • ageing
  • gut

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