Lower gastrointestinal bleeding in the elderly

World J Gastrointest Endosc. 2010 May 16;2(5):147-54. doi: 10.4253/wjge.v2.i5.147.


Lower gastrointestinal bleeding (LGIB) is an important worldwide cause of morbidity and mortality in the elderly. The incidence of LGIB increases with age and corresponds to the increased incidence of specific gastrointestinal diseases that have worldwide regional variation, co-morbid diseases and polypharmacy. The evaluation and treatment of patients is adjusted to the rate and severity of hemorrhage and the clinical status of the patient and may be complicated by the presence of visual, auditory and cognitive impairment due to age and co-morbid disease. Bleeding may be chronic and mild or severe and life threatening, requiring endoscopic, radiologic or surgical intervention. Colonoscopy provides the best method for evaluation and treatment of patients with LGIB. There will be a successful outcome of LGIB in the majority of elderly patients with appropriate evaluation and management.

Keywords: Colonic bleeding; Colonic hemorrhage; Elderly; Lower gastrointestinal bleeding; Lower gastrointestinal tract hemorrhage.