Surgery for late-onset ulcerative colitis: Predictors of short-term outcome

Gidon Almogy, C. A. Bodian, A. J. Greenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: Onset of ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease after the age of 65 (late-onset disease) is not common, and is usually associated with a worse prognosis. We review our experience with late-onset ulcerative colitis and define the predictors of short-term outcome. Methods: A retrospective analysis of our surgical experience with 33 patients suffering from late-onset ulcerative colitis. The medical records of 17 women and 16 men who had surgery between 1984 and 1999 were reviewed for age at surgery, sex, duration of disease, extent of disease, indications for surgery, surgical procedures and outcome. Additionally, we identified predictors of outcome. Results: The median age at surgery was 74 years (range 65-83). The most common indication for surgery was refractoriness to medical treatment. There were 4 deaths for a mortality rate of 12%, and 7 major complications. There was no mortality for elective procedures. On univariate analysis, albumin levels of 2.8 g/dl or less and urgent surgery were predictors of poor outcome. Disease of short duration (3 years or less from onset of disease to surgery) was also associated with a poor outcome, but this did not reach statistical significance. Conclusions: We conclude that in the elderly population suffering from late-onset ulcerative colitis and requiring an operation, urgent surgery and hypoalbuminemia are predictors of adverse outcome. Age at surgery, sex and the extent of colonic involvement did not influence outcome. Low complication and death rates should be expected for elective procedures in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1028
Number of pages4
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Elderly
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Postoperative complications
  • Restorative proctocolectomy
  • Toxic megacolon
  • Ulcerative colitis


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