Irritable bowel syndrome in the elderly

Clin Geriatr Med. 1991 May;7(2):265-86.


Although few studies to elucidate the epidemiology and pathophysiology of the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in people over the age of 65, it is our thesis that the problem is underrecognized in older people. The available data suggest that 10% to 20% of elderly people in the general population have IBS. The causes remain unknown, but age-related changes are unlikely to alter the underlying pathogenesis. Treatment is still largely empiric, symptomatic, and often unsatisfactory; the problems of treating IBS in the elderly are compounded by the frequency of untoward side effects of drugs in this age group.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / etiology*
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / psychology
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / therapy
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events