What is the risk of developing peritonitis and abdominal sepsis in patients who are older than 65 years?

Updated: Jul 23, 2019
  • Author: Brian J Daley, MD, MBA, FACS, FCCP, CNSC; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Patients older than 65 years have a threefold increased risk of developing generalized peritonitis and sepsis from gangrenous or perforated appendicitis and perforated diverticulitis than younger patients and are three times more likely to die from these disease processes. Older patients with perforated diverticulitis are three times more likely than younger patients to have generalized rather than localized (ie, pericolic, pelvic) peritonitis. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the biologic features of peritonitis differ in elderly persons, who are more likely to present with an advanced or more severe process than younger patients with peritonitis.

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