Biologic agent use varies inversely with age at diagnosis in Crohn's disease

Linda A. Feagins, Stuart J. Spechler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: For patients with Crohn's disease, age at onset is known to influence the clinical course of the illness. Aims: The aim of this study is to seek an association between age at onset of Crohn's disease and use of biologic agents for its treatment. Methods: We reviewed the medical records of 127 veteran patients with Crohn's disease treated at our hospital, and compared differences in age at disease onset between patients who had received biologics and those who had not. Results: The mean age of our patients was 54.9 ± 15.4 years, and 34% were currently receiving or had previously received treatment with a biologic agent. For those with biologic use, average age at time of diagnosis of Crohn's disease was 32.3 ± 12.2 years, compared with 43.7 ± 16.3 years for those who had not received biologics (P = 0.005). This relationship remained significant even after controlling for disease severity. The frequency of use of biologic agents varied inversely with age at diagnosis. For patients diagnosed before age 21 years, 55.5% had used biologics, whereas no patient >70 years of age at time of diagnosis had used biologics. We found no significant correlation between biologic use and duration of disease, smoking or ethnicity. Perianal disease and concomitant arthritis were both significantly associated with use of biologics. Conclusions: In our veteran patients with Crohn's disease, frequency of treatment with a biologic agent varied inversely with age at disease onset.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3164-3170
Number of pages7
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Age
  • Biologics
  • Crohn's disease
  • Veterans

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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