Geriatric Gastroenterology: The Gastroenterologist’s Perspective

  • C. S. Pitchumoni
  • C. S. Pitchumoni
  • C. S. Pitchumoni


Demographic change in the last few decades shows a shift toward an older age distribution. The shift has resulted in changes in the incidence and prevalence of diseases, and associated morbidity and mortality. Because of the high prevalence of cerebrovascular disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease in the elderly, oropharyngeal dysphagia is commonly encountered. While peptic ulcer disease (PUD) has declined, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced ulcers are common and associated with morbidity and mortality. Celiac disease, considered a pediatric problem until recently, is increasingly diagnosed in the older adults. Anemia in the elderly is a diagnostic challenge. Wireless capsule endoscopy has opened a window of opportunity to visualize the entire small bowel. Small bowel disorders, including malabsorption of fat and B12 secondary to bacterial overgrowth, are common. Constipation may result from several disorders including medications. Upper, more than lower, gastrointestinal bleeding can be life-threatening. Chronic liver disease secondary to alcohol abuse is uncommon, but malignant liver disease (primary and metastatic) is common. Liver transplantation is offered to older adults and recipients over age 60. Clinicians must become familiar with the epidemiology of common gastrointestinal disorders in the elderly.


Celiac Disease Peptic Ulcer Disease Diverticular Disease Oropharyngeal Dysphagia Wireless Capsule Endoscopy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. S. Pitchumoni
    • 1
  • C. S. Pitchumoni
    • 2
  • C. S. Pitchumoni
    • 3
  1. 1.Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, Drexel University School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.New York Medical CollegeVallhalaUSA
  3. 3.Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionSaint Peter’s University HospitalNew BrunswickUSA

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