Significant Differences in Medication Use Patterns Among Elderly vs Younger Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Researchers compared patient characteristics, patterns of medication use, and comorbidities among elderly and younger patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

SAN ANTONIO – Compared with younger patients, elderly patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) demonstrate significant differences in medication use patterns, according to results of a study analysis presented at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting 2019, held October 25 to 30, 2019, in San Antonio, Texas.

Data from patients in the TARGET-IBD longitudinal cohort ( identifier: NCT03251118) were included in this study analysis. Researchers estimated the prevalence of medication use at the time of enrollment among both patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn disease (CD); patients were also stratified according to age: >30, 30-49, 50-65, and >65 years. Tests of association and logistics regression were used for comparison analysis.

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Overall, results indicated 681 patients with UC and 979 patients with CD. Mesalamine was the most common medication among patients with UC across all ages (57%-77%) and among those with CD aged >65 years (34.1%). Compared with patients with CD aged <30 years, those aged >65 years were 2-fold more likely to be using mesalamine at enrollment (P <.0001).

Use of anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha decreased in patients aged >65 years, compared with those aged <30 years, with either UC or CD. However, there was no significant difference in thiopurine use across age categories, and in use of 5-aminosalicylic derivatives, anti-tumor necrosis factor, steroid, or thiopurine among newly diagnosed and established patients aged >65 years at enrollment. In addition, researchers did not find any association between age, IBD type, insurance, sex, race, or cardiovascular disease and the odds of biologic use, among elderly patients.

“Given that elderly patients demonstrate significant differences in medication use patterns compared to younger patients with IBD, studies of efficacy and adverse events specific to this population are warranted,” the researchers concluded.

Disclosure: Several study authors declared affiliations with the pharmaceutical industry. Please see the original reference for a full list of authors’ disclosures.


Barnes EL, Hanson J, Regueiro M, et al. Medication use and comorbidities among elderly as compared to younger patients with inflammatory bowel disease in the TARGET-IBD cohort. Presented at: American College of Gastroenterology 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting; October 25-30, 2019; San Antonio, TX. Abstract P1394.