Crohn's disease: Influence of age at diagnosis on site and clinical type of disease

J. M. Polito, B. Childs, E. D. Mellits, A. Z. Tokayer, M. L. Harris, T. M. Bayless

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

339 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Crohn's disease has a bimodal age distribution of disease onset diagnosis. The peaks (20 and 50 years) may represent different phenotypes or different genetic and/or environmental influences between younger- and older-onset individuals. The aim of this study was to examine the influences of age at diagnosis of Crohn's disease on disease site, type, and course. Methods: Records of 552 consecutive patients with Crohn's disease were reviewed retrospectively. Results: Younger age at diagnosis (younger than 20 years), compared with an older age (40 years or older), was associated with a greater prevalence of a family history of Crohn's disease (29.9% vs. 13.6%), greater small bowel involvement (88.7% vs. 57.5%), more structuring disease (45.8% vs. 28.8%), and a higher frequency of surgery (70.6% vs. 55.3%). Older age at diagnosis was associated with a greater prevalence of colonic disease (84.8% vs. 71.2%) and the inflammatory subtype (54.5% vs. 34.4%). A conditional logistic regression analysis confirmed an independent effect of age at diagnosis on ileal disease and surgery for intractable disease. Conclusions: In Crohn's disease, early age at diagnosis is associated with more complicated disease and a greater likelihood of having affected relatives. Stratification of Crohn's disease by age at diagnosis provides support for the concept of genetic heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)580-586
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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