J Korean Geriatr Soc.  2009 Jun;13(2):89-94.

Clinical Analysis of Elderly Patients with Acute Abdominal Pain in Emergency Department

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, National Police Hospital, Seoul, Korea. eumhd@medigate.net
  • 2Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Wonju Christian Hospital, Wonju College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Wonju, Korea.

Abstract

BACKGROUND
As the elderly population increases, elderly patients visiting emergency departments (ED) with acute abdominal pain will also likely increase. The underlying causative diseases in these older patients are different from younger patients, usually more serious. Thus, correct diagnosis is very important, but difficult. There needs to be a better understanding of the characteristics of the elderly patient with acute abdominal pain seen in the ED.
METHODS
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 98 elderly patients (>or=65 years) and 109 adult controls (<65 years) visiting an ED at one general hospital looking at the final diagnoses, characteristics of abdominal pain, admissions, and surgeries.
RESULTS
Hepatobiliary tract diseases and bowel obstruction were more common in the elderly patients. The elderly had more admissions and surgeries than younger patients. In addition, they were more likely to have a fatal disease such as myocardial infarction.
CONCLUSION
There is a difference in the underlying diseases causing acute abdominal pain in the elderly patients versus younger patients. In terms of frequency of admission and surgery, the elderly present with more serious and fatal diseases. We must consider these features when seeing an elderly patient with acute abdominal pain in an ED.

Keyword

Aged; Abdominal pain; Emergency department

MeSH Terms

Abdominal Pain
Adult
Aged
Emergencies
Hospitals, General
Humans
Medical Records
Myocardial Infarction
Retrospective Studies
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