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Colitis Risk Factors

December 9, 2013

Colitis risk factors can include:

  • Medical conditions
  • Age
  • Psychosocial stress and depression
  • Family history
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs

Medical conditions – Ischemic colitis has a wide spectrum of injury ranging from transient and mild ischemia to acute fulminant colitis. Individuals suffering from health issues like atrial fibrillation, hyperlipidemia, diabetes and hypertension are highly susceptible to develop ischemic colitis.  This type of colitis is the most common kind of intestinal ischemia and for the elderly is one of their most typical large intestine health problems. Other typical high risk factors for ischemic colitis for the elderly are congestive heart failure, shock and atherosclerosis.

Age – A person over 50 years of age has an increased risk of developing colitis although this condition can also begin before the age of 30. Colitis can actually begin at any age. For people who have developed colitis at 50 years of age and after, the common culprit is ischemia. Also, an inaccurate diagnosis of idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease among a significant number of patients can be the answer as to why colitis has been observed to react differently among the elderly compared to younger patients.

Psychosocial stress and depression – Stress, depression and anxiety play a large role in people developing ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The likelihood for getting Crohn’s disease is more though among emotionally stressed people than for them developing ulcerative colitis.

Family history – Individuals who have a close relative or family member with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are at high risk of having colitis.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs – Although no studies have been able to establish a direct link between NSAIDs and ulcerative colitis, use of these medications cause signs and symptoms similar to those of colitis. Moreover, studies have shown that patients with colitis who use NSAIDs have had far worse colitis symptoms than colitis patients who have not taken these types of medications.


Willow Tree Wellness Clinic
1607 NE 16th Avenue
Portland, OR 97232
Ph: 503-281-0030