Aging and neural control of the GI tract: IV. Clinical and physiological aspects of gastrointestinal motility and aging

Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2002 Dec;283(6):G1226-31. doi: 10.1152/ajpgi.00276.2002.


The gastrointestinal motility changes that occur as a function of age are reviewed herein. Careful attention must be given in any review of aging phenomena to exclude, or at least be cognizant of, the many comorbid conditions that can alter physiological functioning in older adults. The dramatic increase in life expectancy over the past 10-15 years demands that clinicians be aware of the various physiological and clinically relevant changes that occur with age. Gastrointestinal motility changes associated with age are relatively subtle, and in many instances only conflicting data exist. As the older adult population increases, and as the control of disease is improved, much more work needs to be done to understand the true effects of aging on gastrointestinal functioning.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Colon / physiopathology
  • Constipation / epidemiology
  • Constipation / physiopathology
  • Digestive System / innervation*
  • Digestive System / physiopathology*
  • Esophagus / physiopathology
  • Fecal Incontinence / epidemiology
  • Fecal Incontinence / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / epidemiology
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Motility*
  • Humans
  • Intestine, Small / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Rectum / physiopathology
  • Stomach / physiopathology