Japan has the largest aging society, where many elderly people have intractable diseases including ulcerative colitis (UC). Along with the increasing total number of UC patients, the number of elderly UC patients has also been increasing and will continue to do so in the future. Although the clinical features and natural history of UC in the elderly have many similarities with UC in the non-elderly population, age-specific concerns including comorbidities, immunological dysfunction, and polypharmacy make the diagnosis and management of elderly UC challenging compared to UC in non-elderly patients. Based on increasing data related to elderly UC patients from Japan, as well as other countries, we reviewed the epidemiology, clinical course, differential diagnosis, management of comorbidities, surveillance, medical therapy, and surgery of UC in the elderly.
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